Riverside Ghazal

Most watery of all the trees, these willows

stand in water. Ice pools around the ankles of willows.

A tree's name should reveal its nature.

Salix babylonica: the first word is for willow.

Doesn't it sound stretchy and pliable?

Babylonica is for the weeping part of willow.

From a quotation in Psalms: by the rivers of Babylon

we wept. The people hung harps on willows.

The weight gave them a bent, permanent shape.

A girl flings her hair down, a young willow.

A golden color, like a shout, all the length

of the fronds. They light up the willow.

Nearby on the concrete ramp, an ice-filled boat

waits for the sun to unmoor it, sail it past the willows.

In the season of thaw, this ice giving way.

By the rivers of America, we wept these willows.