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M.S. Rooney

How to live

in a world filled

with the world.

Each year, nine now,

new leaves return

to this volunteer Japanese maple

that took root

in this terra cotta urn

beside this red camellia,

to this stray English walnut

that strangled the potted epazote

and now sends a pale tap root

through the narrow drainage hole.

It is as simple

and as complicated

as that.

The camellia grows upright in shade,

the maple bends

to the late afternoon sunlight

beyond the eaves.

We could not revive the epazote.

We would not straighten

the graceful curve

of the maple.


M.S. Rooney lives in Sonoma, California with poet Dan Noreen. Her work appears in journals, including Illuminations, Leaping Clear, MockingHeart Review, and Superpresent and anthologies, including A Walk with Nature: Poetic Encounters that Nourish the Soul (University Professors Press). Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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