Deborah Leipziger


The sap is rising in the trees
my bucket gathering clear sap
dripping, filling, slowly sweet
dark winter in a silent wood
waiting, waiting now for spring
the tree shivers when it’s cold.

The trees shiver in the cold
the sap is rising in the trees
a trickle from the trunk will spring.
Each night collects more sap
maples releasing in the dark wood.
It is the cold that makes it sweet.

Sap rising, falling, thick and sweet
the tree is giving in the cold.
So many taps to place in the wood
from the crown of the tree
to the gash it will flow, this sap.
Slowly, slowly comes the spring.

The stars are rising in the spring
the voices crying out are sweet
waiting, waiting for the sap.
The night’s blizzard cold.
The sap is rising in the trees
with the secret longing of the wood.

Tap all the trees in the wood.
The moon flowers wait til Spring.
The sap is falling in the trees.
Boiling, boiling sap to make it sweet.
Slowly, steam rises into the cold.
The canoe fills with sap.

The nightdreams overflow with sap
from the dark and faraway wood.
How many nights of aching cold
before the forsythia of Spring?
Crystals of ice, crystals of sweet.
The sap is falling in the trees.

On this cold night, does it hurt the tree?
Blood sap sweet
in the wood, from veins spring.   




What shall we call this place we have inhabited
in its patterns of fragility and erasure?

What will become of this enclosure
which we spun from our own bodies?

What of the honey flowing amber
oozing through the cells?

When did the silence descend like poison
infiltrating each single

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