I have seen her rage against winter,
struggling to put her blossoms into the light.
I have seen her face on every corner.
I have heard her heart pumping
and her lungs wheezing
and her feet tapping in every city.
I have seen her spread her legs for anyone
in foreign capitals in the public squares.
I have seen her deep in the darkened sea,
courted by armies of silent shining fish.
I have seen her grow tangled in woodlands
green and uprising to the hidden sun.
I have seen her stem cut from her body,
divided lengthwise, shaped and hollowed,
and wrapped around a carbon rod.
Held here in my hand,
it marks in black on her crushed fibers.
There is nothing else on earth
which she does not hold.
March 11, 1976
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