TWO TREES

Anna gave me a painting of two trees
(thinking, I guessed, of Kahlil Gibran’s image
of marriage, two trees growing together,
swaying and blowing together in the wind,
two trees, not one tree – she said Yes)
two trees in a sloping meadow, the side of a hill,
the grass all around them yellow and parched.

Late summer, then. The year going by. The years.
One day they’ll chop those two trees down.
First one, I wonder, then the other? Or both
on the same day? I know that is not what he meant
but I would not like to be the one tree
left in that painting, the one tree left
sighing and trembling, leafless, in the winter wind.

Nor – even more so – would I wish that for her.
When the day comes – for this is no Grecian urn –
let it be two trees that are cut
down, cut up, whatever, two trees
still, though trees no more. A pile of logs
in the middle of a field. And atop the logs
two birds – a pair of jackdaws – rubbing noses.

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