When I was five, there are
magnolias, branches clotted
with white bursting stars.
Climbing to the top, I float
upon a sea of cloying scent
in Louisiana firefly dusk.
When I was thirty, there are
scrub pines in Portugal, leaning hard
into the cold winds from the sea.
Sitting on the sand, I smell the salt
and dream of solid roots.
Now around me there are
English hornbeams, twisting wild
in winds that barrel off the Channel.
They laugh and sway,
and mock my thoughts of permanence.
They know we arenít here