Amagansett Cherry

Mark Doty

Praise to the cherry on the lawn of the library,
the heave and contorted thrust of it, a master,
on its own root, negating the word weeping

(miles to the nearest tears),
requiring instead down-fountaining,
or descending from a ferocious intention.

Whatever twists the trunk
subsumed into pink explosiveness, and then, all summer,
the green-black canopy. Prefer it unbent?

I have no use for you then,
says the torque and fervor of the tree.

Mark Doty is a poet and writer whose work has won numerous accolades and awards, most recently the National Book Award for Poetry in 2008. This poem is taken from his forthcoming collection Deep Lane, to be published by W. W. Norton.

Photograph by Katrin Sauck

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myers_lloyd's picture

This is the eloquent tale of the useless, gnarled and ancient tree of the Taoists.
Carpenters shun it.
Because it is useless, it thrives.