The Museum of Trees

By | 1 February 2020

Maybe one day
you’ll visit the museum of trees.

Maybe one day, trailing behind the class
you’ll get ‘accidentally’ lost,
find yourself ducking under the ageless arms
of an oak, find yourself moving
quite alone, from beech to beech.

Maybe you’ll fantasize about a museum sleepover
where they let you set your spine
along the bough of a elm, in a mimicry of limbs
and maybe, when the museum air is still
and everyone else is sleeping
you’ll hear the willow whisper
through its thousand green mouths
behind discreet green fingers
the story of its youth.

Maybe one slow Sunday afternoon
you’ll beg from your mum
a few coins, to go again
and stare up at the myrtles
through glass, and realise
they miss their birds:

but the museum of birds
is five blocks down
on the other side of the subway.

And maybe, nearly in tears
in front of a case of maples –
august in their mysticism,
and no-one to pray palm-to-palm with them –
you’ll let the sadness sublimate
from your eyes, down into your throat
ball up, shoot like fire into your fist
which will smash the case
and you’ll reach through the shards
to touch them, hold them
and your fingers will find

plastic. Only plastic.
Each bark-notch and leaf-line
machine made.

And you’ll leave the museum of trees
bleeding a little, bleeding a lot
all the way down the street
and you’ll never, ever return.

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