Photograph: “Stump Meister” by Laurie Klein
Moss lawn, Royal Savill Gardens Windsor, U.K
For centuries, winter’s grey boles
rise from a sea of moss—doomed
ships at anchor, sails ashen
as beech leaves showing their undersides
before an imminent gale, building,
like hearsay, beyond the grove. A hiss,
then rain sluices the white fork moss
that ripples like floating carpets.
Overhead, wind swells
to roar, toppling the ancients.
Root balls erupt, rending
swathes of green, trusty moorings,
torn. Afterward, the sad rumple:
dirt-strewn troughs resemble
thunderclouds, downed like
hopes, starker by night than dunes
scalpeled by moonlight—essential
footing lost to us now.
Tiptoe barefoot across
the velveted stone and step and lawn,
for now, uncommonly ours.
Laurie Klein is the author of a poetry collection, Where the Sky Opens, and a chapbook, Bodies of Water, Bodies of Flesh. A Pushcart nominee for poetry as well as prose, she writes in a house sheathed in cedar, facing heroic pines amid the latest bark beetle onslaught. The trees are (mostly) winning.