The way the snow returns to the sky
is far more painstaking than the way it falls.
Near the end, it turns from ground to figure,
from canvas to paint. It scales the ladder
of its own self-effacement.
So the snow withdrew into a clef-shaped cleft
& waited for its cue. This winter could go
The witch hazel measured itself against an oak.
I want to be a tree, it sang, when I grow up –
A bird perch,
An insect metropolis,
A gallery of lichens above,
And below, a husband to fungi.
True, I am all these things already,
But not as a tree.