Excerpts from The Axis Mundi Poems.

And Yet You Were a Leaf*
Frost
on the grass
miniature blades
press each other
against the ice,
the lake closes
under a white skin
the fish hide
but, the trees
are as they
have always been,
bare,
so naked
to the snow.

Title from “A Woman Mourned by Daughter,” by Adrienne Rich.

Which Of These Forms Have You Taken*
This year I have been growing
down into the tree
against my will
making nothing happen.
Across the woods
through the bare branch haze
of bars against the light
someone is coming with an axe.

I have known this all my life.

*Title from “A Soul, Geologically,” by Margaret Atwood, in Selected Poems.