Amber Is a Tree’s Blood
O slow soul, no desultory walk, now, but you vault in the spin of knowing, how
close how very near the end or the broken shell of this beginning you are.
How will I have used the amber hour, this is all I need like blood, to know. They
speak of fathers, well, I have buried mine in several mounds, in the sound of please
and thank you, in the lost bells of generation, silent in Moscow, silent in Prague, silent
in Paris, well I have buried mine in the breasts of men I begged, honor a crying girl,
she needs a home at any cost. Loss, or a dignified coverlet? Well I have buried mine in
a place where they forgot to engrave his name, and I said “sorry,” for being the forgetful
one, O, Father, I wear your name etched in the moist of my unmarried mouth, Father,
will that do? Well, or do you require granite? We have spoken of forgiveness, touched
its chill Piscean body, teaming with the maggots of small minutes remembered. Days,
and years, are easier to grant an amnesty of maturity. Well am I mature, at fifty?
No desultory walk, now, no, go directly to the fire dust, place this body of a child with-
in a wheel within a wheel—child, with no child to honor but the hour. Well, brass
bell, cry, as gold. Bold-step to one tree that bleeds amber, for all that will be, a little
later. Sate the heart with such a father, rooted, in earth that cools this fever a little.
Mother-ground, show me roots, in your bare, dirty, kiss.
Amber is a Tree’s Blood is from But a Passage in Wilderness (The Sheep Meadow Press, 2007), and also appeared on Poetry Daily.
Poem, copyright © 2007 by Margo Berdeshevsky
Appearing on From the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2008, From the Fishouse