A POEM BY BETSY BURR
Light through Winter Trees--New Jersey
For Todd Doney
Walking down the pavement in our town
I passed a gallery window full of trees—
Canvases showing in their winter nakedness
Trees crowded together with
Not enough space to grow.
We have just such trees here
In New Jersey’s woodlands,
Shredded remnants of the once-great forests.
When I would come upon them in the wild,
I always assumed they hadn’t
Very much to say for themselves.
But someone has found out
What these survivors have to say
So he has painted them and brought them here
Where they speak in a chorus of voices.
I suppose some slight breezes
By the rising or the setting sun
Passed through the bare branches
Bringing to the ear
Perhaps of praise—
Praise for the daybreak
Or the sun’s last glowing embers.
Someone has caught
Those perfect passing moments
Of light-pervaded landscape
When all is as it should be
The trees live then
Their full significance
And it is as if
Some great wrong
Has been forgiven.