timber by Leeanne Seaver

timber

the quiet patience of chinquapin, chokecherry . . . .their years in nesting circles…each
of black tupelo, mossy oak cup, slippery elm…none
of us remembers except Ailanthus, the tree of heaven, but
in my third springtime I carried a baby blue jay through pilose…climbed
a pine and gave her back to her mother
…all the other years …after the clearances
I carried myself adding layers
of hackberry, hornbeam, catalpa pods opening…closing…marcescent…
counting the rings of each new start…
pedicel from a conifer bog… . . . .nannyberry hear me
…my quiet noise
. . . .…what if I lit a match? . . . .what if I took an axe?
during the sap season the maples dripped
from what was carved there…into my skin
…sweet as the fingers of a little girl…
then hardening

by Leeanne Seaver

Editor’s note: My botany classes are far behind me, so much of this poem required some time spent on the interwebz looking up word definitions. This time was decidedly well-spent. The poem’s specific references serve as small doors into the world of the narrator and her story of plants and trees, and why they matter.

Author’s note: In the Schoolcraft Library’s rare books room, Trees of Michigan, is an exhaustive record of hundreds and hundreds of native trees, many now extinct.

One thought on “timber by Leeanne Seaver

  1. Pingback: the sound of my own voice | I was told there would be no math.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.