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.