There is an evergreen in Providence
whose needle wins the duel with every leaf
in the library. Her spine an arrow-sheaf
of thorns. Her grim patient taproot rends

the granite. Meanwhile the library, collegial,
collects the congealed logic of the leaf-pile
conscientiously. Bright-eyed scholar-cowboys
squirrel it away (homey arrangement, intellectual

corral). And bookworm-servant, in the sub-
sub-basement, reads on her side. The hole
in her heart gives back the cavernous whole
the word makes in the world (dub-dub-

scriptoria). The outline of a forearm
lifted to prop a sleepy brow shifts
into the dream itself. The arm grows stiff,
turns spiny, subdued, arctic, aquamarine...

and what the dream unfolds for turning worm
is picture of a little tree, foiled in milky air
and rain – tree lush with frail leafage, shuddering,
stuttering – green tree, evergreen, ever-warm...

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