In this poem, I try to persuade the trees to tell me about my ancestors.
|My House in the Woods
I built my three-story house
in a grove of 70-year-old oak trees.
These are the forest denizens,
the senior-citizens of the tree world.
They knew my grandfather by name,
the one who died before I was born,
and just as I tell them my private thoughts,
from a white wooden rocker on the front porch
nestled between the sixteen-foot columns,
he shared his private secrets, too,
as he hoed the long rows of corn
that are now my front yard.
"Tell me," I beg of them,
on a cold November night,
as they scrape the snow
from a gray leaden sky
with their bare black branches,
as the first fat flakes
begin to sift.
"Tell me what disclosed!
His thoughts. His dreams.
Did he ever imagine me?"
But just as I trusted them
to keep my secrets,
so did he,
nothing at all.