Such Feverish Trees
The opened room leaves me cornered.
Months I knelt in the cramped cell
of winter, the chill never really dispelled,
came to love that pallid circle
of sun, chaste sky, bare limbs.
Satisfied, I felt clean. Then this sudden
brightness, this plenty—
such feverish trees, exorbitant bloom,
the old plum stunned into whiteness,
a soft feathered thing, and stark strips
of quince torched, turned to flame.
How could it not bait me, not chafe?
Even the air’s a risk—silk, it stings.
And sings. Sure, it sings as it whips.
First published in Poetry Northwest. Copyright © Beverly