Waiting, one feels time
like space the way one speaks of a tree,
meaning not, as here in this yard,
the fat trunk of a beech that bulges
before its branches begin
to branch —
meaning rather the loss we hide
by counting up:

Up, the way the tree grows,
or the way we speak of the mountain,
forgetting the roots, the other side —

Tree as in family tree, or tree
as dreamed, as if in a place this,
this year, this garden, the leaves coming out
of the bulbs —

Time like a mountain, an island
on tree, the tree,
a ripened fruit as large
as the hand that holds the yellow half,
or the other hand that scoops
the fat black seeds.

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Martha Collins (born 1940) is a poet, translator, and editor. She has published ten books of poetry, including Night Unto Night (Milkweed, 2018),Admit One: An American Scrapbook (Pitt Poetry Series, 2016), Day Unto Day (Milkweed, 2014), White Papers (Pitt Poetry Series, 2012), and Blue Front (Graywolf, 2006), as well as two chapbooks and four books of co-translations from the Vietnamese. She has also co-edited, with Kevin Prufer and Martin Rock, a volume of poems by Catherine Breese Davis, accompanied by essays and an interview about the poet’s life and work.[