Witness

Who among you be Ailanthus,
The Witness-Who-Reaches High?

If you question, you are elm beaten down by exhaust
or calloused feet
If you spring up in expectance, you are
the frond of Ailanthus
Absurd in its giving
Of shade to the dreamless street.

Who among you be Ailanthus,
The Witness-Who-Reaches-High?
Who among you be fair Ailanthus,
Tree-of-Heaven?

July 4, 1977 || Copyright © 1977, 2005 by David Newkirk. All rights reserved.

Poem reproduced from this location.

Part of the collection David Newkirk: Writings.