Japanese Plum Tree

Softly, a child cries
Waiting for flight and catching
Firm branches in thin fingers; too strong
To break with any semblance of splinters
But tree waits, leaves rubbing gently
In a little call for comfort, and fruits only
Growing plumper as they hang, searching
For one to pluck them from their limbs or
A chance breeze to knock them to the floor
In their only chance to grow wings
Before they are nothing
And like the girl with sodden dreams
They mourn that which they shall ne'er
Know except in harmless fancy
Though all hearts ache, and
Many sights grow e'er more dim
In each day's passing, a hope remains
For the child; girl of the world and e'er full
Of thoughts, and life, and questions
Ne'er does she lose her desire
In solitude nor company
In waking nor sleeping
Until the day she can glide to that tree with
Woman's grace, and take fruit in pale hands
And climbing high as do the birds seeking nest
Bare feet sliding, and toes gripping, arms
Holding to each chance above
Until clear sky and robin's song break through
In a half-smile, and loose wisp of hair falls
And blows in sparkling eyes
Before a leap, branches swirling,
Skirt whipping around legs
In discovery of new laws
Which show a harmless flight of fancy
And only a single tear in her stockings
But for peace, she would be gone

-27 July 2005-