Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Looking at the Tree

a single tree on a hillside--
do you think this exists?
Why just one? Did the
others go off to purchase
purple sweaters to ward
against the coming cold?
These sorts of things happen
in North Dakota; a sparse
landscape, a hand-painted
card; jewelry from the earth.
Did you see the chilly night sky,
warm with pinks and gold,
slip past those bare branches?
Did you then feel Alone?

A few years back,
I read an article in
Utne Reader about Alan Ball.
I didn't watch TV back then
(my husband is from Texas;
he doesn't watch TV,
he looks at it).
I hadn't heard of
Six Feet Under but I
read about death, often.
And volunteered with a local
Hospice, watching mostly
Alzheimer patients slip away
in nursing homes that smelled
of death--not the good kind
of death that one reads about
in books, where the death
completes a circle of a
satisfying life. Not the wind
blowing through many
pines standing together in a
Minnesota arborteum,
but the solitary tree on a
windy North Dakota plain.

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