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Looking at a Map, Its Rivers

                                    Susan Meyers


Confluence of rivers: 
                        a tree in winter,
each branch a salutation,
            each tip a seed
reaching toward oceanic roots.
From creeks and prongs
   sap runs down
   December’s trunk
bluer than remembered skies.
If you could rise above it, 
                       you’d see
black water reflecting light
like a dance of leaves, 
                                    black
that takes its dark gift
from more familiar trees—
live oak,
   cypress, 
        river birch—
those that know the seasons well.
Mapped here are winter branches, sparse
and crooked,
                        ancient and flat,
barely ruffled by wind— 
            the ones, come spring,
you’ll never see in bloom.


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