The Wooden Library

The volume called Beech is bound
in bark, its leaves
pressed with nuts and flattened

seeds. The one on Maple's sticky
as syrup; Oak's full of gall.
This is my library.

Bound: things made of
themselves, not what I write
of them. Forest,

once I burned words to keep
myself warm. Pure caprice. Heat,
charred ash,

and rising from ashes: green
tendrils, wood without words,
a wild deciduous future.

Sandra McNew

Sandra McNew's ( freshman work-study was checking out books and reading shelves in the Stanford University library; she has always liked reading books better than reading shelves.