This seedling has a secret life, untold
by sparrows sleeping softly in its ear.
This one small thing is heaven, shaking, bold,
its mossy buds recalcitrant to cold
and shadowing a blue-veined, faint frontier.
This seedling has a secret life, untold;
its frozen limbs a glassy world uphold–
as if all life should be this tight, this clear–
for this small thing is heaven, shaking, bold.
What wind could all its universe unfold!
Perhaps it takes a stranger who can hear
this seedling in its secret life, untold,
its sightless face emerging from the mold,
its features worn away into a smear
of my small piece of heaven, shaking, bold.
A palace burnt and all the gardens sold,
though God’s address is anywhere but here,
this seedling has a secret life, untold;
this one small thing is heaven, shaking, bold.
-Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei, After the Palace Burns. Zoo Press, 2003.