Making Friends With Trees
I go out and back to visit the tree.
My love takes me to a different tree,
a new one to love, big enough to climb inside of.
My rubber boots gain enough traction:
I belong within its green grace.
Within this forest of ours
where we’ve made ourselves belong over these years
I have no grief. I take my joy and spread her along
the trails we’ve walked and caressed with the bottoms
of our shoes. It’s enough.
It’s enough until I’m alone on Monday morning.
All I lack rumbles beneath the light
of my too-bright computer.
I read of railroad tracks and aging, text my daughter’s
homework to her phone. I ache and ache
for all I do not know.
Where’s the path? I wear the path from me
to these two trees, one I’ve already loved
and this new one, this one my love introduced me to
on Saturday. During a rain break, I stood inside
and listened, mapped the moment as mine.
There’s no path. There’s only this ache for what I
cannot know. For how I’ve made up a road along these
20 years. A track of words that erase every time I send
them out into the world. Why did I choose words
over everything? They fade so fast, no pension attached.
I write them everywhere but only the trees talk.
-Nancy Schatz Alton, 1.8.2018