Oak and Ash and Birch breathe their gold.
It sifts through their twigs and branches
over our cars and lawn furniture.
Oaks and ashes and birches think
life is worth continuing. They want
to make acorns and winged seeds
and tiny cones. They want to make
food for turkeys and squirrels and jays.
If they told you the Council of Trees
had decided to fill this year with abundance,
if they told you they had decided
this was a good year to cover the wounded
Earth with their love, to spread their gold;
if they told you that you, too, could participate,
wouldn’t you say Yes? And here you are!
Every sneeze, every dribble, every gasp,
they tell you, is a price you can pay.
I once knew a woman who moved to Arizona because her northeast allergies were so bad. She said it took her a couple of years to get allergic to Arizona stuff. The oak this year is absolutely dazzling. Achoo! And–I’ve discovered to my sort of delight–wearing a mask helps. A little.