She opined in a breeze
on evergreens
ticking off points

Even for
saps like me, my
ever-pines would
clock no time like
potted plants do: she promised

they’d shine green
forever for me

I needed to let my
passing brain storms lie, yet
branching thoughts,
light on trees, dimmed
before tinsel could be laid

I asked her once
to play around
combing cones
smelling needle resin
when I so young didn’t
know a mosaic virus
from a worm term

She’s not in back pages
nor is tree disease, yet
the needling and needles
are gone, fallen down brown
creepy vines up dead trunks
sunken shadow hope, the
new face of bramble dread. Damn

vines have
grown over my
pine combed trees
bearing news of
winter death, ungreen sorrow
broken branches,
awaiting sparks, and
brittle burning
—- Douglas Gilbert

Poetry Books By Douglas Gilbert