Matins (I)

The sun shines; by the mailbox, leaves
of the divided birch tree folded, pleated like fins.
Underneath, hollow stems of the white daffodils,
        Ice Wings, Cantatrice; dark
leaves of the wild violet. Noah says
depressives hate the spring,  imbalance
between the inner and the outer world.  I make
another case--being depressed, yes, but in a sense passionately
attached to the living tree, my body
actually curled in the split trunk, almost at peace,
    in the evening rain
almost able to feel
sap frothing and rising:   Noah says this is
an error of depressives, identifying
with a tree, whereas the happy heart
wanders the garden like a falling leaf, a figure for
the part, not the whole.

-Louise Gluck

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