Woman, Tree, Rain

At the corner of Church and Fair, in rain
she pauses, cool in the invisible
and rainless room below her umbrella…

The low, wide Japanese tree’s elegant.
Its salmon maple leaves are rained to red,
Its splay of spindles slicked to jet by rain…

Its bonfire burns the rain, and all the world
Seems thirsty-eyed and staring at the sight,
The central mast, the axis of all things…

She thinks of Thoreau, writing of the girls
who plucked up leaves and so “improved the time”
When every leaf could speak a radiant word…

Still each in all the world, she tells the tree,
Is saying what we are, the word of each
Tipped on a tongue before the worlds began…



Marly Youmans

Marly Youmans is the author of fourteen books of poetry and fiction. Her latest poetry collection is The Book of the Red King, following the narrative of a transforming Fool, a mysterious Red King, and the ethereal Precious Wentletrap (Montreal: Phoenicia Publishing, 2019.) Her latest novel is Charis in the World of Wonders.


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