A Month of Poetry, Day Four

Van Gogh’s cypresses

have secrets

all trees do

I recently bought a book about it

the ways that trees communicate

with each other

how they grow

in community

mourn and celebrate each other

I haven’t cracked it open yet

the book

the secrets are still

secret

but if you ask me what my favorite

tree is I might say

the olive tree

or an ash tree

the cypress

not because I’ve seen them

and run my fingers down the

spine of their trunks

or sat in their shade

or witnessed the sun

dapple itself between their branches

I have only witnessed them on the canvas

birthed by smudges of paint

applied thick

with a dead man’s fingers

Van Gogh’s trees are my favorite trees

they gave him oxygen

perhaps some of them still breathe today

in Arles or Amsterdam

roots stretching down

holding on tight

to their secrets