Tree kit (for Zoe)

1 February 2015

‘A few almond trees / had a few flowers, like a few snowflakes /
out of the blue looking pink in the light’ —James Schuyler


We sleep through its becoming, the growth
a mimicry of ice & bud –

Do not disturb the delicate
growing crystals
, the leaflet reads

but we do, and how quickly
they drop from paper boughs. In spring

your sister, swinging, said ‘Look! The tree
is snowing.’

They were cherry blossoms, but I thought
of quinces – the fruit

my mother’s horse, soft-mouthed
at thirty, could only nuzzle. ‘Kick

your legs out then back
in again,’ I said. ‘Then you’ll keep swinging.’

She never did, but
white petals showered us both.

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