To every year the trees grew without us noticing.
In the introduction to The Best American Poetry 2021, Tracy K. Smith states that “the best poems of 2020 reached me as offerings of desperately needed hope and endurance.” She goes on to say that “the best poetry to emerge during a bitter year sprang from whatever else was indispensable to sustenance, peace of mind, justice, and healing at the time.”
Indispensable to sustenance.
That we are still in search of “desperately needed hope and endurance” is enough to drive one to despair. And yet.
One of the poems included in this year’s collection is “This Is a Love Poem to Trees,” by Hannah Marshall. I couldn’t find Marshall’s poem online, but I encourage you to seek it out. Trees have sustained me in countless ways, not just over the past twenty months, but throughout my entire life. Here are two haiku, love songs to two of my favorite trees.
late afternoon light
leaves dappled amber and gold
sips of sustenance
crowned in green cumulus puffs,
maple bears witness
the world barrels past
Draft © Catherine Flynn, 2021
Please be sure to visit Irene Latham at Live Your Poem for the Poetry Friday Roundup.