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Ash Grove of Ash

Shriver, shadow, shade for good and ill,
you bend divulging branches. You stand clear
with narrow waist, clean-shirted. You nod, hearing.
You shelter me, too. You gather crossed blond quills
of saplings into fists, binding their violent
crouch and spring. You bathe taut knots, embalmer.
Now cool prevails on your pale green leaves, and calm
steeps your roots, quenching their crooked silence.
I see you are not mine, but reservoir
beneath the grove, distiller of rot, bog, bracken,
broken trees, the clear-cut past, its dying
brush that scudded like cut hair at your drying
channels, your wandering arms — come back, come back,
my root voice creaks of thirst, like a long shut door.