my birthday present

my birthday present
My awesome birthday present 1/26/11 (see story under my first post)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Trees!


























I love trees and I notice buds appearing on many with this wonderful weather. Each spring I marvel at the strong will of this special tree I pass on my bike route. The entire trunk is essentially gone, yet a few remaining branches are lush and beautiful. It reminds me that nature can be so resilient.







Live Oaks, New Orleans

by Jennifer Maier

They square off along Napoleon avenue,
opposing armies of dark women, leaning out
so far their branches meet at the top, like hands
grabbing fistfuls of tangled hair;
and some of them are old, with the thick,
scarred trunks of Storyville madams, and
roots so strong their suck heaves
up the sidewalk like so many broken
saltines. And some are young, with the
straightbacked bodies of girls who dream
of horses and the brown arms of the neighbor boys,
but underground the red roots grow together,
fuse in a living circuitry spun deep and
stronger than the whims of emperors, as if
they've known all along that earth's the right
place for love, as though, planted in battle lines,
they incline toward the circle, and hold it open,
vaulted and welcoming.

"Live Oaks, New Orleans" by Jennifer Maier,
from Dark Alphabet. © Southern Illinois University Press, 2006. 

This poem contains such an excellent metaphor. As I read it I falter back 
and forth, trying to determine if it is more about strong women or beautiful 
oak trees. I especially appreciate the analogy of the underground root system where
young women and old intertwine and create such hope and strength .

I did order Maier's book, Dark Alphabet, can't wait to see what gems it holds.



1 comment:

marie-josé said...

Trees have a special place in my heart. Perhaps that's why I think this Jennifer Maier's piece is particularly lovely, with storytelling similes that work every time.

My favorites : “...And some are young, with the / straightbacked bodies of girls who dream” ;
“...the red roots grow together, / fuse in a living circuitry spun deep and / stronger than the whims of emperors...”