Monday, March 17, 2008


for ReadWritePoem march 17, 2008
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White Birch Tree

I am a prom queen
in a slinky
little white number
for the wind
to ask me to dance.

I am a bride
in a white negligee
just waiting
to be peeled
by layer.

I am an Eskimo
in a white parka.
Snow softly lands
in my hair.

I’m a sunbather
in a one-piece
white bathing suit
stretching my arms
over my head.

I am a nurse
in a white uniform.
My leaves drop
like pills
regenerating the earth.

I am a poem
my own white paper.
See that girl
carving a heart
on me?
She has healing
slash marks
on her wrists.


gingatao said...

That is a beautful poem, series of themed images for the tree, all lovely and then the twist in the end made more powerful by the contrast. Cool poetry.

laurencemcbeth said...

I love your style..especially like the the slinky Prom Queen...

anthonynorth said...

Many images from one source. And a great twist.

paisley said...

that final image is a doozie... a reminder that all of the "seasons" the tree is or will be... we go thru too... and you just never know.. do you...... excellent

sister AE said...

very smart images! And since I had a clump of birches outside my window as a kid, I could see all of these. I will admit that last stanza snuck up on me, though.

Crafty Green Poet said...

so many ways to see a birch tree, then such a twist at the end...

Dave said...

Each one of these images is so vividly imagined! I'm not sure about putting them all in one poem like this, but maybe if they were numbered, or something? Then they could be like the different trunks rising from a single rootstock, as white birch likes to do. Like the others here, I was blown away by the closing lines.

seb said...

great style ... I like the pictures you paint:-) Very real and even more so after that clever twist.

gautami tripathy said...

That ending took me in! Completely!

numbing nirvana

Christine said...

You're a master of metaphor, Linda. I wish I could bottle up that talent. Each image of the birch was new and fresh, ending in a story. I'm hoping the slashed wrists stay healed permanently.

Anonymous said...

from Therese--I think this poem has clarity and concision and an easy pacing. Reading it is like peeling off identities layer by layer to get to the most vulnerable self; or boring into the rings of a tree to get to the first growth. Several classical myths exist about a woman being turned into a tree; here is a poem about a tree speaking as a woman.

Jane Doe said...

I love how you saw so many things in a tree. The last lines were really great. Wonderful poem.

jillypoet said...

This is oneof my favorite Linda poems, ever! I love the repetition of each "I am." "prom queen/ in slinky/ little white number" is a great opener. Also, the form of the poem fits the form of a birch tree perfectly. Long and lean. I think the bride stanza is my favorite. I like that you used negligee in a poem! And peeled layer by good. That is what we tell my son not to do to the birch trees at the lake every summer!

Well done!

Pam said...

I really like this poem, the flow and changes in the tree's view of itself are wonderful. I have always loved birches and other trees whose skin must peel.

UL said...

linda superb, and your pick of the birch, amazing...i will forever remember this.

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