We planted it in May of thirty-three.
Strange times for us. How could a child explain
The helpless eagle on the ice-box door,
Or why from school to park he trooped through rain,
Or with what strange design our teacher bore,
Its roots done up in rags, that little tree.
Twenty-odd years, and I return alone
And unprepared for what the years have done.
I claim what’s mine—the loss absence begets—
The shrunken school yard theirs, the weeds; the sun,
Even, joining with these confederates,
Has threaded grass through the foundation stone.