The Ghost Tree by Michael H. Brownstein


The ghost tree reflected in the window
white as blood-free linen
does not move to the beat of the wind.
It forms no shadow,
makes no nest for a family of squirrels,
no flurry of leaves, no glitter of sunlight,
nothing compromised, nothing overridden.
We look to the street to find its nature,
see only yellowing blossoms on young trees
a starting of green,
but the ghost tree is nowhere.
This is how it is when it is nothing at all.
Later we hear the scraping of feet,
the breathing of air when the wind stops,
the sudden fist of a limb cracking.
Somewhere violence happens: a tree limb in a window.


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