A Tree Named Mary

On paths my heart has never traveled
wandering in the wilderness
I found Mary

In the speechless forest
She is there
beside the laughing brook is where
among the countless timber
I remember fair
Mary dwelling

Her winded crest
her shapely bounds
her lovely feet that are wound
among the tangled morning glory,
beside the ancient oak-bole mound
Mary dwells-
and has dwelt
within her solemn grounds

I loved her then
where I found her there
Her outstretched arms, her leafy hair
were on waters casting fair
of Mary’s deeper thoughts,
Of sweeter things I’ve known naught

In subtle ways
was Mary
As distant as a star
yet she along the River’s bar
has laid down beside me
and I have not traveled far
to find her
yet far
to find me

Eternal beauty
A thing of beauty
was Mary touched by me,
and by the sorrows spread about her,
ever did it seem to me
when all her leaves were falling
that we should never be

Dark lays low the ancient woods
Darker still this house has stood
since leaving I sought Mary
seeking if I could
adrift across the cypress waters
to drown this empty love
that I have carried

Still her forests beckon,
as the sun is setting low
and the clarion of crickets rises from below,
I know that she is gone forever
of this much I know,
Yet knew I though
the tender love of Mary
and I left it here to grow

* * *

-A poem about trees, by Mitch Stokely

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