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  • Joyce Plair-Jordan

Extending Branches



An evergreen tree of the southeast United States

With long needles and resinous wood


Looms fifty feet so precariously

Aiming a woody seed-bearing cone where I stood.


Deflecting attention from an idle thought

To the prickly brown arrival at my feet


The lingering, nostalgic desire to waste away—

Stopped as its acquaintance I did meet.


“Popular to pine away, Confidant.”

“American individualism?”


A nature stands amongst the woulds,

“Ayes”, to community met with skepticism.


Tall ecology colonies, viscid Puritans,

ALL congregated for social good


Whose seed scale pops civil covenants, born,

Unity Image in support of neighborhood.

Hope abounds in quiet places

Steps nestled in phenomena—the material world

The trees and I shared understanding of the friendship flag all Americans could unfurl.



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