To the birch tree outside my window

I barely noticed you at first
in this new home, new street, yet
with each glance through the window
your presence grows deeper
into the brain.
A yearly clock my ancestors lived to,
it astonishes me
how much I need to see
the green fireworks of your new leaves
which –
I have to say –
always know when I’m not looking
to burst into full wing.
Their dying against a blue sky
is a tart ache,
your winter and early-spring bareness
makes me almost turn away, and yet
you keep the power
to summon goldfinches to your branches
a windfall I do not deserve
with my carbon-making
Google searches
flights to rainforest eco-lodges
coffee beans from Kenya
cotton, viscose and polyester.

Daily, I fear your demise
at the bumper of a souped-up car
or simple surrender
to a city venomous
with fine particles
concrete, and
carelessness.

I look at you now with eyes upon eyes
of memories, and words
like tree internet
that send me groundward, wondering
if you are lonely, incomplete
talking into a
pavement tomb
still and empty
with the memory
of earthworms.
It seems not impossible
that you know there must be more, much more
to air
than the sulphate, nitrate,
black carbon
that has pierced you (and I) since birth.

Each year I need your solace more.
I think
you could save us
if only we gave you
the space to breath
for us all.

 

Birch

2 thoughts on “To the birch tree outside my window

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