She, the once tortured orchard tender,
needs more than saplings, more
than a sudden wet wellspring, more
than pills shaped like fat seeds and more
than thin fruit bark that is soft
to the frost and the shape of her
heavy shoulder. It bends green.
To her field, she adds red discontent
with cherry grafts growing fraudulent on
young limbs. They were said to be
sweet. Only ravens, crows,
or darker birds would eat so bitter.
So, she snips the buds before
they can swell. Puts her energy, her sap,
her neurotransmitters into
something else. Hardwood takes time.
It bears no fruit, but one day reaps
oily seeds and the strength on which
Poem by Luna Cardinal
Luna Cardinal has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Rhetoric from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Arts in English Literature from the University of Toronto. Her real education came from a stream.