What fickle gardeners all gods be
that punish by pruning the young stem
for the trespass of the ancient tree
even as fruit is offered to them.
How inert thy heart be now in repose
beneath the reign of his luminous love,
having been chased from out of thy maiden clothes
and thus sheltering with leaves above.
Was it stench of blood billowing outward
like snake wherefrom all prophecies were spilled
or was it thought of Apollo’s touch that spurred
thy limbs harden so as to not yield?
Victory was thine, of dubious sort,
in laurel leaves crowned with thy frightful flight
and crowning all whom of Olympian sport
competed for favor in his light.
But I also wonder if since thou grow
with thy crown proffered to the light to tease
thy pursuer with what he would never know,
are not thou like other trees?