In the tree the luminous sap ascends

Today, watching brick and concrete dust rise in a column of light from construction over Beacon Hill I was reminded of a poem by Rita Dove that I read years ago and had to google for. Apparently it’s titled “Horse and Tree” and was published in 1989 in her book Grace Notes, and was cited by the Library of Congress when it named her Poet Laureate:

Everybody who’s anybody longs to be a tree– or ride one, hair blown by froth. That’s
why horses were invented, and saddles tooled with singular stars.

This is why we braid their harsh manes as if they were children, why children might
fear a carousel at first for the way it insists that life is round. No,

we reply, there is music and then it stops; the beautiful is always rising and falling. We
call and the children sing back one more time. In the tree the luminous sap ascends.

I need to read more poetry.

I need to write more.

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