KR OnlinePoetry

Elation

In the city’s center is an unwalled forest:
a dense plot of cedars so thick their canopy
keeps light from reaching the ground.

We gaze at the stretched-out stalks—
Etiolation, you say, pointing skyward,
but all I hear is elation.

It’s the elongation of stems,
the branches growing up, not out,
their long trunks turned white

from too little light. Tolerant trees.
They claim this space as their own,
making the most of what’s given them.

Their back and forth sway moves us.
We listen to spindly trees creaking—
rocking chairs on a wooden porch,

the sound of a cello’s drawn breath,
the clatter of branches like the chatter
between old, coupled voices

when no one is around.