Once more, the aftermath: last week a line
Of winds leveled our town, clear-cutting trees
As old as Vigo County’s oldest home;
Before, we’d lost a dying, bark-scarred oak.
Our other trees still stand. Amid the whirr and buzz
Of saws and chippers everywhere around
Us, Daphne and Apollo—purple ash and poplar—
Stir in the breeze, but stay unflappable.
Their branches arch above me like a nave
And now a silence spreads about: the wind
Animates the higher limbs, lifts them
Enough to let a slant of light slip through
Their folded hands and land on each green leaf
And me, the trees translucent as stained glass.
Matthew Brennan is professor and director of graduate studies, Department of English, Indiana State University. His most recent book is The Poet’s Holy Craft (University of South Carolina Press).
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