Thursday, March 4, 2010

Black Sassafras

In toil you shall eat its yield,
all the days of your life.

Black sassafras breaks new ground between stones
Like Adam cultivating his family tree
Around the weeping world. The taproot groans
In forests raining with humidity,
Knuckles down against a fallen landscape
Showing green in its wood from trunk to limb:
As death intones its dying leaf’s dry scrape
So bark and husk, singing nature’s anthem,
Some savor, substitute for cinnamon.
Australia's tree is camphor anecdote
For salvation history: its purchase
Retailed by rock, it flows with water’s increase.
A hymn of life in leaf, this substitute’s
Stuff is like savior’s blood for sinning men.

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