Basic Tree ID

put your words away
birch leaves are gone
redbud silent in cold rain

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how brittle the red pine needles
even now in full green
next year’s cones waiting

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one day to the next orange leaves
scarlet berries note the difference
in sky, a human smile

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the poster says hug a tree
to lower blood pressure
feel striation or smoothness—also listen

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brown marmorated stink bugs

as good as any nature center, your office
window. they touch striped antennae. just one,
in the beginning and how they got between
glass and screen and on the second story—
now you count four clinging up down right left, slow
with that deliberate creepy invasion intent.
they have the tell-tale spots and stripes
you can see very well with your hand-lens
of course they fly, but why? you keep watching

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Opening the blinds

When you were in the hospital
I went looking for something
in your dark cluttered room—
you wanted your calendar—
and found my last custard cup
full of coins and old batteries
on your nightstand and knew
you had never asked to use it
but just pulled it from the shelf
as if you had right to anything
since we’d let you into our home
perhaps; but I took the dish back
gave you an old butter tub in its place
and yes I felt small but had I not
felt small all the time