by Bill Keller
They all fell from a single tree,
covered the lawn in plump, brown beads:
the unstrung necklace of a woodland queen.
They were elegant, sleek and round,
humbly pressed against the ground,
till each cracked open and sent down
roots that carried the heedless hope
of launching a prodigious oak,
leaf, petal, limb and massive trunk,
a peaceful giant with no designs
beyond scissored-shape and sparkling-sky
kaleidoscopes, quick breath, warm fire,
and a shifting, leopard yard.
After demonstrating my high regard,
I removed the nuts with a rake and cart,
though more than several slipped between,
then sent up flags that I tugged clean
to their furry feet and moldy beans.
I don’t love the green world half enough,
but with indifference, she forgives.
Frail stems still spring up through the seams
and tell me of their lofty dreams.