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by Michael Goldman

I’m not just trying to convince you

that trees don’t stand still. And I don’t mean

how they plunge and sway in the winter

like spirits leaning together singing psalms 

or how the pine needles move in the sunshine

all along the branches like fractal choreography

of fractioned light. Everyone knows that already.


What you’re not prepared for is how trees run

across continents, spread their seed, mutate,

evolve, over generations put miles behind them,

seeking always the most optimal conditions

already prepared for them as they arrive.


In our St. Vitus dance trees seem inert

yet we keep returning to the same places 

as if we never moved, and our dancing

in place and our evolutions seem not so far

removed as the seasons change and we’re still

here, while what we set in motion is spiraling, 

out beyond our reach, pushing the limit.

About the Author

Poet Michael Favala Goldman (b.1966) is also a jazz clarinetist, and educator and a widely-published translator of Danish literature. Over 140 of his translations and poems have appeared in literary journals. Among his fifteen translated books are The Water Farm Trilogy by Cecil Bødker, Dependency by Tove Ditlevsen (a Penguin Modern Classic), and Something To Live Up To – Selected Poems of Benny Andersen. His first book of poetry, Who has time for this? was published in 2020. He lives in Florence, MA.

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