Once Again

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“Look at that tree,” David said.  We’d been following the snowmobile trail that runs past our house for several miles, the fresh snow well packed for our cross-country skis.  “It looks like a tree in England.”

The oak tree does look like many of the trees we saw as we walked across England last summer.  Sitting at the edge of a yard bordering an open field, the tree stands by itself, which is common in English pastures — a single tree with an unimpeded crown, standing grand and full, left to grow on its own for decades and decades.

I know this oak tree, and in fact have been so stuck by it I wrote a poem about it many years ago.  The poem asks a question I’ve yet to answer.

Once Again

If there’s an oak I recall
from year to year for the fineness
of its winter crown against dusk sky
as I climb from woods to cross
the Bailey’s fields, its branches a black
articulation against last light,
do the scars of the intervening year,
matter, all those months without considering
this simple view, now new
and long remembered all at once?

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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One Response to Once Again

  1. I like reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!

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