Winter Cottonwoods

“Well, I made you take time to look at what I saw…” – Georgia O’Keeffe

she paints the canvas
Winter Cottonwoods East V.

Burnt umber
and raw sienna
render limbs

to transcend
all sense
of sleeping sap.

Within her
smudged pigment,
out of wintry light

an odd alchemy.
Countless living stems

press into thin air
in a maze of wands.
Even leafless,

slow and steady
stitch tree with sky
in secret marriage.

she is the canvas
Winter Cottonwoods East V.

I draw in
burnt umber
and raw sienna

to assuage
my melancholy
since leaving

olive tammies1
and silver sage.
I make a pact

to swap mirror
for trees
naked now

beside my bed.
This morning five
purple finches

pried open black hulls,
plainly melding
bird and flower
budding in song.


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