from Hangman’s Tree by Monica Youn

… I was wrong

 

when I told you

life starts at the center

and radiates outward.

 

There is another

mode of life, one

that draws sustenance

 

from the peripheries:

each slim leaf

slots itself

 

into the green air;

each capillary root

sutures itself

 

into the soil.

Together these

small adhesions

 

can bear the much-

diminished weight

of the whole.

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