Jonathan Shipley



The trees can be read. 
Do you not think that birds
Are the most literate creatures
On earth? Time encircles some,
Ensnares others. There is a
Name for reading the rings of
A tree, but, cutting one down
Makes us all mute. The reason
We love wandering into a winter’s
Forest is knowing that it will leaf
Again some season. The ideal
Summer is a hammock between
Two trees, two lovers swung in time,
And a soft breeze. When you and I
Finally marry, the non-still birds
Will riot in the chapel crowns.
When we say, “I do, ‘til death,”
Saplings and waxwings will
Garland us with feather and
Fragrance, the unspooled
Script parched for our reddening lips.