2nd Poem from Photo – The Branch

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

The Branch
I know this branch.
When last I saw it,
several small wrens were perched
upon it, settled among the
golden autumn leaves.
A drizzle of rain made
some delicate drips
and a light wind caused it
to gently sway.
The wrens rode the branch
like small sea birds drifting
on a peaceful sea of black wood.

Torn from the tulip poplar
the skeletal branch
pokes up through the snow,
carried by wind and snow
it ends up in this place
in my yard.

Now, it lies in my yard
encased in frozen snow.
When the snow melts and
I clean my yard,
I will take this branch and
move it to the verge
of the woods that border my yard.

I will lay it down gently on
the fallen leaves and pine needles.
Through time, ants will traverse its length,
tiny frogs will sit by its hugeness
blending in with brown leaves.
Their eyes round and shiny,
their tongues reaching out to
feast on small bugs moving about
the ground and on the branch.

A small spider will spin a web
catching gnats and no-see-ems.
On his way up from the creek
a small green snake will curve its way
sliding under the branch, going
about its green snake business.
The box turtle that explores my garden
and that small patch of woods
will make its slow sure way
under the branch.
The branch will rise and fall and slide
along the turtle’s back and
settle back onto the ground,
maybe at a slightly different angle.

Dew and rain will fall,
small birds will perch on
its fragile fingers.
Beetles, slugs, worms –
all will burrow beneath
and crawl upon it.

Time will pass and the wood
inside the black bark will begin
to rot and turn to dust.
On the ground, the black bark
of the branch will lie discarded
like the skin of an ancient snake.

I will be old.
I will make my deliberate painful way
across my yard.
There I will see the
remains of the bark.
I will, with effort
bend over and touch the bark
with my finger.
I will remember the day
I put it there.
I will say
to the trees around me,
I know this branch.

22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain's Wife
    Mar 09, 2015 @ 19:53:45



  2. Tina Blackledge
    Mar 09, 2015 @ 20:37:09

    I love the way we writers see the world around us. This is magnificent. Thank you for looking beyond what most see offering us all a glimpse of wonder.


  3. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Mar 09, 2015 @ 20:42:16

    Enchanting. 😀 😮 The pictures painted exquisitely. ❤ ❤ ❤


  4. amoafowaa
    Mar 09, 2015 @ 21:19:53

    The theme of death, of indispensability and of ends.


  5. The Course of Our Seasons
    Mar 09, 2015 @ 22:25:49

    I love the life of this broken branch – the passage of time, the insects and animals – and the final line – splendid!


  6. Prajakta
    Mar 10, 2015 @ 00:03:11

    Lovely! The second perspective on the same image is so creative and yet somehow connected.


  7. dani
    Mar 10, 2015 @ 08:40:32

    especially love the ending!


  8. Éilis Niamh
    Mar 10, 2015 @ 11:35:11

    Beautiful poem!


  9. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Mar 10, 2015 @ 14:41:20

    First.. I love how you started and ended with the same sentence.. it gives a completeness that is only one part of what makes this poem amazing.. the second part I like is that you work with the 3 tenses, the past, the present and the future.. I have heard sometimes that we always carry these tenses within ourselves, and that only a small portion is the present.. the last thing I like is how you wait till the end to introduce yourself in the poem, making the branch a personal thing. This is probably one of my favorite poems from you.. 🙂


    • kanzensakura
      Mar 10, 2015 @ 15:11:34

      Thank you! I have had this poem in my head since December and the first snow. I think this is my favorite of my poems. And we do carry the past, the present, and the future within us. The snow has melted now and I know the exact spot for this branch to be. Thank you again. It is a very close poem to me.


  10. Carol A. Hand
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 11:05:35

    Such a beautiful reflection that so poignantly and profoundly celebrates the cycle of life.


  11. 365dniwobiektywielg
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 11:08:05

    Great cropped photo


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