For Quickly’s Modification

I’m afraid I may have gone a little too far.


Spent Winds and Tender Ones

In her late age
my mother-in-law came to hate winter trees.

Should the terrible oaks be ashamed, standing naked?

Forget staged catharsis: Spend two hours among trees
in their threadbare, fretful need.

Time may call down on me
a touch of her ferocious awareness.

Why not prefer stainless quilts to runaway joy,
the small-boned cedar—evergreen—to inexpressible man?

I shall take my irreversible doubts and my suspended sleep,
and swap their modifiers.



  1. This is an interesting mix. Turned out well, b. By the way, speaking of oaks … I saw one today that was heavy with clouds of mistletoe hanging off it. I’ve seen lots of mistletoe in France, but this is the first time I’ve seen it in Sussex. Quite amazing to see it in the wild.


    1. Really? It’s not that unusual around here. Less often in clouds. A clump or three or four. People will shoot some down for Christmas. I don’t know how it’s done commercially. Never thought about that.

      Liked by 1 person

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