This is the tree I thought I'd prune
into manageability and ripe fruit,
the way my mother pruned me, hands
folded in my lap, my wiry hair cut short.
But I like it the way it is, a constellation
outside my window, its dreamy limbs in a tangle
from the second-story roof to the clothesline,
a dusting of lichen, like talc, on its skin.
Paula Jones Gardiner's newest book, Under Heaven, with Rachel Norton, is forthcoming from Barbarian Press, Mission, B.C. She won an NEA Award for poetry, and leads women's poetry workshops.