“A Trail Through the Trees,” oil on panel, by Albert Bierstadt, late 19th century.

by Lois P. Jones

Because you are strong.
Because your branches span out ahead of you.

And in so many years, age has allowed breadth to match height.
Boughs so heavy with time they touch the ground.

Because a crow can land as easily as the butterfly
and a bench so perfectly placed beneath you

is shelter from the heat. Because all I want is to sleep
under your canopy. To dream of families that feasted

on acorns, cooked quail and rabbit on soft ground
near your roots. Because you sit amongst the hundreds

of fragrant roses and the white arbor overlooking
an English garden—amid the bee palm and hibiscus

with its orderly wildness. I cannot distinguish water
that rushes over the fountain’s stones from the wind in your leaves.

And this is music.
And there is a shelter like Mahler’s little hut
where the occasional deer can wander, curious.

omega man

Lois P. Jones’s work has appeared in The American Poetry Journal and numerous other markets, domestic and abroad. She is the host of Poets Cafe on KPFK in Los Angeles (Pacifica Radio), poetry editor of Kyoto Journal, and a four-time Pushcart nominee and Best New Poets nominee.

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