Testimony

Poem for a Tuesday — “Testimony” by Jane Flanders

This is how death

came to the old tree:

in a cold bolt, a single

thrust from a cloud,

in a tearing away of bark

and limbs, a piercing

of much that was necessary.

We had no choice then

but to cut it down–a pine

of great height, that knew much

about weather and small life.

It had been here longer

than any of us. And now

there is a hole in the sky.

In Cries of the Spirit, ed. Marilyn Sewell. Boston: Beacon Press, 1991. P. 126.


Jane Flanders was a poet, musician, and gardener. A three-time recipient of the Pushcart Prize, Flanders was the author of three volumes of poetry at the time of her death from cancer in 2001. Not long afterward, her husband Steve discovered more than 700 of her uncollected, unpublished poems, a number of which were subsequently published in three posthumous volumes. Reviewer Andrew Hudgins wrote that “Flanders constantly probes the commonplace, seeking what message it has to reveal about the infinite or to discover in what way a particular moment contains the eternal” (Hudson Review).


Photo by Tanya Gorelova on Pexels.com

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