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(To Gabriel)

You are much nearer God
than I, in solitude, withdrawn,
can ever hope to be.
You are the blood-tinged cloud at dawn,
you are the dew my feet have trod.
I am the tree.

You are the rising sun.
Your solemn words are like the heat
that now envelops me.
You are a message, incomplete,
you are the start of what’s begun.
I am the tree.

You are the breeze that blows
the scent of cedar and of love
across Lake Galilee.
You are the unsubstantial dove.
You are the fate I never chose.
I am the tree.

You are a bird in flight.
You are the sea-gull or the swan,
a soul at liberty
whose wings have carried you beyond
the limitations of the night.
I am the tree.

I am the tree whose roots
will spread beyond restraining walls.
One blossom here will be
the fresh fruit which, before it falls,
will ripen till it institutes

After a poem by Rilke

—Conor Kelly