Thursday, April 6, 2023

The Clinging Fracture

Trees don’t drag their broken
Branches. A branch breaks and
It hangs until it falls,

Which could take months or years.
All I know, wrote Abbey,
Is a juniper takes

A long time to die. Here,
A splintered branch hangs off
A healthy-looking tree,

No parasitic wreaths
Of mistletoe on it.
Who knows what accidents

Count as part of dying?
Sometimes you lose a branch
And outlive your neighbors.

Nothing breaks cleanly from
Junipers, however.
Their arms are bark-skin sheaves,

Twisted, ropy, fibrous.
You couldn’t just snap this
One off, as tenuous

Connections the strands left
Are to the branch’s base.
Leave it. Check back next spring.

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