As the hole deepened, broadened,
the sculptor’s shovel ovating a shape,
he saw the tree, down the decades,
leaves on pointe, dancing pirouettes
on a winded stage, a blossomed mobile.
Even the winter freeze
Of the half-foot of humus
necklacing the husky trunk
will cock it a little,
like the jaunt of a haughty hat
tipped against the headwinds,
brim all a-riffle.
The nurseryman idled up,
a fender of the old truck, its bolt missing,
quaking like an aspen, in time with
the engine’s tick.
“What kind is it?” asked the shoveler.
“Baldwin, but we call ‘em Bobbin’ Apple.
The springy limbs are never still, once
the apples load on.”
And so it was, down the decades,
roots reaching ever back
through unwitnessed stillness of soil,
twigs clicking heels in the rain,
branches lining out the old soft-shoe
on a sanded stage of wind,
and in a perfect calm,
the impossibly visible surge
David Vandiver, April 27, 2014