You’re the Harlequin of the garden,
stretching out in spangles, not shy at all
about those worrisome bulges in your ankles.
Someone told me you’re a thirsty tree,
and your branches elegantly bent
will burn bright and hot in my stove:
I want to plant you in a part of the yard
where water tends to log on rainy days.
Some sapling of yours, I mean, dappled
young and graceful. Someday I’ll sit
here on the back porch and admire
as the sun clears the neighbor’s garage
and touches down above me,
idly loving how your motley clothing
belies the smoothness of your flaking skin.
Sibelan Forrester is a Professor of Russian in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Swarthmore College. She is a translator, a poet and a member of the Mad Poets Society.