A tree in the centre of a corn field
the corn rising in its ranks like braided hair
to meet the lowest branches
a tree that has replaced at least twenty
corn stalks with their divided leaves
twenty golden cobs sweetly surrendered
for this lovely grace: leaf sweep touching
leaf sweep, the whole field given by
this rising trunk, a focus
the pattern drawn from the edge of the field
to the centre where the tree
delivers a blessing.
The forest planation blankets hills.
the dark pines descend
except on one little hilltop a ride
of grass begins and runs
with the trees which seem to bend
tenderly towards it: a bed from which
a child has risen and begun walking
the solicitousness of pine branches over grass.
©Elizabeth Smither from Night Horse
Elizabeth Smither’s most recent poetry collection, Night Horse, was published by Auckland University Press in 2017. She also writes novels and short stories.