May 1st

How the time passes quickly so that a sapling — I just looked out to see it — leaves a trunk 38 inches across when felled, its years, the weather contained in a narrative of rings. A seed waited for 25 years inside that tree to have its chance to become a pumpkin, however small and green the result, and the children who crouched under the limbs to while away a hot summer day have become scholars and lovers, their lives elsewhere except for a few days a year when they walk the old paths, sit by the fire that continues to draw us to it each morning, a fire started with split shakes of the original roof, now silver with age. How time passes, how everything we knew is stored in our own bodies — the dull ache of sleepless nights, the sharp yearning for love, the sorrow of these empty rooms once filled with children laughing, fighting; their books, their toys, their filthy socks and tiny overalls. One boy still sits under the original nest box (though I know it’s not possible, he lives in Ottawa) with his notebook, trying to sketch the swallow nestling that hangs out the opening, saying, Don’t fall out, Parva! Be careful. And I stand out among the trees, under stars, while the moon thins and fattens, turns soft gold in autumn, hangs from the night’s velvet in February, draws me out on summer evenings to drink a glass of wine while owls fill the darkness with that question: Who cooks for you, who cooks for you-all? It was always me and I never once minded.

–an aria from “Thuja plicata: Nest Boxes” (Mnemonic: A Book of Trees, Goose Lane Editions, 2011)



~ by theresakishkan on May 1, 2012.

One Response to “May 1st”

  1. Lovely! Looking forward to Thursday’s reading…

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