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Displacement

Entering the garden,
I notice the rhododendron,
the platinum pearl, that had displaced
the unwanted vines of bittersweet
tangled around the throat of the honeysuckle,

as though the blossoms
had as much a rightful deed to be rooted
as the dove tree, hanging its branches
over the frame of the border,
not native to the land at all.

But the tree itself, untouched
in its mural of sun and partial shade,
and envied by its resolve to take the brunt
of radical weather, still struggled
in its purpose to remain in its quadrant,

eyed by yew hedges and stones,
its limbs heavy with the flesh of leaves
like the arms of a mother in wartime,
carrying her child on a sinuous path

to the border,
to the tent pitched under ice,
falling on her knees into an arrangement
as though for once she need not move,
as though finding in that reprieve
a sanctuary, or an almost perfect peace.

But if to be spared,
if to move across that border
and find the dove tree astonishingly depleted
but still rooted to its site,
is this, then, the law of continuity?

I look away
from what has been transplanted,
removed and replaced: the sidelong glance
of the rocks, piercing and upsetting
as if the unpolished stones
had been violated, and thrown
by demons into the fire
of all that had been uprooted in its time.

Submitted: Thursday, June 17, 2004
Edited: Saturday, April 16, 2011


Read poems about / on: tree, weather, peace, child, mother, fire, sun, children

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Comments about this poem (When We Haven't Said Goodbye by Joanne Monte )

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  • V P Mahur (2/28/2014 3:43:00 PM)

    Nice one. great read
    Thanks
    Plz visit my page and give some comments on my poems

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  • marvin brato (1/9/2014 12:33:00 PM)

    Nature is God's creation for humans t live and enjoy...let us not corrupt it!

  • Shahzia Batool (5/10/2013 10:16:00 AM)

    One can see and feel your attachment with nature! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

  • Patricia Grantham (4/29/2013 7:32:00 AM)

    What a wonderful piece of poetry. Just taking the time to really
    observe nature is one of the most beautiful things that a person
    can do. It really touched my heart and senses. Thanks for sharing.

Read all 4 comments »

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