Hickory trees from spring to fall

Each year I feel drawn more into the year’s cycles. Or is it the years’ cycles? Both I suppose. As each year succeeds I watch the leaves or leaflets emerge in so suddenly beginning with the elms. Soon greens fill the canopy or splash the spaces between our buildings. Later the acorns and nuts fall, many gathered, many ignored. Then the fall comes. I celebrate this cycle this year with a special love for the hickory tree, a climax tree where I live.


“The Hickories’ Season”

The hickories’ seasons
startle with speed and

In May, witness the canopy:
suddenly rioting green
leaflets, sun-stained
pleas. The trees

breathe through nascent throats
pulling truth from their roots
in rote recitations
of the rites of
the living,

the rites of
love’s recruitment
into succession, into
kin replenishing in communion:
pignuts plucked by October’s wind 

into sinking
leaves for feasting,
leaves gifting hope in death
for years to be drunk and drunk.

Now sleep
and startle again, you
hickories sleeping before the snow.


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