You know from their deeply grooved bark
they hold marvelous stories.
They are taller than oak trees
and sway and glitter through summer
like massive angels,
nearly brushing the clouds.
Can we doubt they are good?
Yet a neighbor used to say
with distinct disapproval
that “they’ll grow anywhere.”

Before this day ends, in some marketplace
where melons are stacked and ancients hum,
someone will toss a grenade.
A six-year-old who hates no one
will be diagnosed with leukemia.
A scrap of sapling will cling harder
to its patch of sandy earth, eager to bear
delicately scalloped leaves
shaped like what humans call hearts –

perfect to hold light
and give it back.

Posted by kind permission of the poet.