A photo of the tree
Would certainly save this description
A thousand words – at least.
No need to write cherry plum
Or dark red leaves
Or discuss the depth of shadow
In the French afternoon
A film of the tree would say more, of course.
How its leaves shake and shiver and hiss and rustle
In the blustery wind
But only words will find the thousand tiny plums
Hidden in the dark red foliage
And only words can tell you about its relationships:
To the lawn, the house, the stables
To the bugs and birds who live in it
Or visit it
To people, like myself, who sit beneath its shade
Or contemplate its past, or present, or future.
Who use it, maybe, as the inspiration
For a story. Or a poem such as this.
And words can suggest it role
As a handy backdrop for tales of love, or lust, or loss
How, long ago, a young woman,
On a night lit by stars,
Wearing a white nightdress,
Ran beneath the tree’s branches
Like a ghost
And into my young arms.