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Between Trees & Poems

When I leave, I borrow books of poetry
to read, yes, of course, but there is more.
Everything wants to be more and it is,
too, but only for those who are willing
to forget themselves and listen bravely,
to hear the stories in the world between
the self and things. There is always music
playing in the bar across the quiet street.
Observe this for yourself. Get still. Look
at a tree. Study it. Be patient. Until she,
shy at first, begins to whisper of leaves
to see if she can trust you. Relax. Believe.
Green leaves will grow, thrive, explode
in throes of gold & yellow & red, and fall
like old memories into the hungry green
grass. Eight silver birds will land on her
branches, sing, and fly away into the blue
sky that shelters the world of gods and
people. When I leave, I borrow her books
of poetry to read on the plane and hear
what they say. More than lines and poems,
they are poems that she once read, alone,
forgetting herself in concentrated effort
to construct meaning. What is more lovely
than somebody reading? In her bed, lit
by lamplight, just past midnight, she drags
her finger down the page, slowly mouthing
the words until she flies away into the
black sky that shelters the world of gods
and people. There are lines, underlined
in pencil, and I trace them with my finger.
Everything wants to be more than it is.
The fragments of glass in her hair shimmer
in the light. She closes the book for the
night and this prize, her solitude, creates
the substance of her strength, her small
smile, and those eyes that see beauty
haunting all the things of this world.