By Peter Meinke

Last spring you said
It’s an ancient mariner,
This white ash poised

Like a spar among
The flat-footed maples,
bare arms upborne,

diver in perfect form.
Now it’s late June
And the mountain

Swims in green
But the ash stands grey
and rigid against the wind.


About this poet

“The Dead Tree” from Liquid Paper: New and Selected Poems, by Peter Meinke, © 1991. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.
Peter Meinke has published eight books and is Florida’s current poet laureate. He was Eckerd College’s first director of creative writing and served as the Poet Laureate of St. Petersburg. .