He thinks that he will never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
But poems charm and poems please,
And many are lovelier than “Trees.”
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast,
Can hardly look at God all day,
While lifting leafy arms to pray.
Where are her eyes, mouth, arms, and head?
Perhaps she lifts her legs instead.
Can that same tree in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair?
Perhaps her arms (or legs?) are hairy.
A tree like that should make one wary.
That bosom on which snow has lain?
You’ll search a tree for it in vain.
Unless . . . a hairy bosom too?
That tree belongs inside a zoo.
One line is good. I can’t complain
Of “intimately lives with rain.”
Bad poems persist; they sadden me.
Not even God could make that tree.
—David L. Hoover, 2004 (Reproduced with permission.)