My gift for his fiftieth birthday,a Japanese maple, buds swollenand ready to release first leaves.After planting he digs a smallpool underneath, lines itwith cement edged with rocks.This mirror, shaped like a uterus,reflects the tree as it rises,the soft green lace spreadingits wings. “Womb,” we whispered,little girls in church singingthe word, that secret place whichunder the bare branches of December,holds the sun, moon, and stars.
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