A Left-Branching Language
by Judy Halebsky
In Japanese there’s a grammatical structure for something that
fig trees have a second bloom, smaller and less sweet
forces work against gravity?
what word for these
kinds of trees?
Bashō can write about a branch that swayed in the wind
and mean the branch
just now stopped swaying
our nights shaded
against valley heat, vining him into me
snails, aphids, bumblebees, sparrows
skin heals in tendrils, in scars, in lines, bumpy, purpled, not weakened
exactly but less able to fold, less eager to stare into the sun
August, leaves turning
a sprinkler, a hose,
we ripened, ochre dawn and were gone
From Tree Line, Kalamazoo, Michigan: New Issues Poetry
& Prose, 2014.