Poetry in Motion
First Lesson: Winter Trees (an excerpt)Michael Waters
These winter trees charcoaled against bare sky,
a few quick strokes on the papery
blankness, mean to suggest the mind
leaping into paper, into sky, not bound
by the body's strict borders. The correspondence
school instructor writes: The ancient
masters loved to brush the trees
in autumn, their blossoms fallen.
I've never desired the trees' generous
flowering, but prefer this austere
beauty, the few branches nodding
like…like hair swept over a sleeping
lover's mouth, I almost thought too fast.
"First Lesson: Winter Trees" (excerpt) from Green Ash, Red Maple, Black Gum by Michael Waters. Copyright © 1997 by Michael Waters. Reprinted with the permission of BOA Editions, Ltd.