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D E C E M B E R   1 9 9 9

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by Gail Mazur

audioear picture Hear Gail Mazur read this poem (in RealAudio).

(For help, see a note about the audio.)

Also by Gail Mazur:
They Can't Take That Away From Me (1998)
Bluebonnets (1995)

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What you want for it you'd want
for a child: that she take hold;
that her roots find home in stony

winter soil; that she take seasons
in stride, seasons that shape and
reshape her; that like a dancer's,

her limbs grow pliant, graceful
and surprising; that she know,
in her branchings, to seek balance;

that she know when to flower, when
to wait for the returns; that she turn
to a giving sun; that she know

fruit as it ripens; that what's lost
to her will be replaced; that early
summer afternoons, a full blossoming

tree, she cast lacy shadows; that change
not frighten her, rather that change
meet her embrace; that remembering

her small history, she find her place
in an orchard; that she be her own
orchard; that she outlast you;

that she prepare for the hungry world
(the fallen world, the loony world)
something shapely, useful, new, delicious.

Gail Mazur is a writer in residence in the Emerson College M.F.A. program. She is the author of four books of poetry, including The Common(1995) and They Can't Take That Away From Me,to be published in 2001.

Copyright © 1999 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; December 1999; Young Apple Tree, December; Volume 284, No. 6; page 100.

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