Magnolia Fraseri Walt
Belle of the trees.
That perfumed bark,
ear-shaped leaves list in the breeze.
But the dusky and celebrated blossom
wilts in the first searing days of summer.
Not the flower but the seed endures,
October's hard fruit,
hairy green and wrinkled beak,
eyeless head of a green bird
begins its loaded arc.
Whose damp brain pops
a loud seed like a bright red thought
to wobble in the pod.
Until the wind shakes
and it drops before the leaves do.
They and snow press it into the ground.
In spring, one green plume
and another tendril,
slip through the cracked earth.
The slow soar of another tree.
In seven years
a pale bloom trills.
Bruce Hunter, Two O'Clock Creek: Poems New
and Selected, Oolichan Books, 2010.