Advice to a Son by David Landrum

Advice to a Son

If you would marry, marry a dryad—
one with dark green skin and nappy hair.
She will be amazed at many things: the taste of tea,
soft beds, bouquet of bottled wine,
music and oranges, the sure rise of bread.
She will show you wonders too: how she can weave
a blanket or a garment out of leaves or build
a nest in boughs where you two may safely
spend the night; how she will disappear into a wood
and come back laden with wild radishes,
mushrooms, nuts, and apples.
When enemies attack she will disappear up a tree.
You will think yourself betrayed, but then
vine-lassos will descend. Your enemies
will disappear, jerked upward
kicking in astonishment. And you will listen
in the dead of night, after warm love,
as she tells what it is when arms transform
to branches, fingers to leaves, feet to roots
drinking the wetted earth—of seeing without eyes,
breathing at every pore of bark, feeling
the sunlight shape the rings that are your years,
and of the fronds that reach
to breezes bearing bundles of fresh rain
of softly singing lullabies of snow.

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