by Ann Iverson
In winter, it held its arms like a woman with a broken heart or man without work. In spring when the wind had its way we thought it snowed in May. Most days I think if I cannot honor a tree then to what will I pay homage? To God. To serendipity. That by chance He gave us trees? No. Nor was it by chance that He gave us souls or feet or flowers. Or by chance He gave us male and female and all the miracles that pertain therein. In summer, it showed no age or anticipation of demise. It held its beauty quietly like water in a glass. It finally fell one fall like a stormy adolescent all disorder came about in our hearts and in our yard. It took four to cut down what remained. Then they carried her away: limb by limb, branch by branch leaf against ever loving leaf.
Ann Iverson is a writer and artist and the author of five poetry collections. She is a graduate of both the MALS and the MFA programs at Hamline University. Her poems have appeared in a wide variety of journals and venues, including six features on The Writer’s Almanac. She is also the author and illustrator of two children’s storybooks. As a visual artist, she enjoys the integrated relationship between the visual image and the written image. Her art work has been featured in several art exhibits as well as in a permanent installation at the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital. She is currently working on her sixth collection of poems, a book of children’s verse, and a collection of personal essays.