Over a threshold of roots, an archway of branches,
the little girls entered their tree house of birches.
Where birches bent back they built
a small kitchen, knelt down to make leaf cakes
and worm pies and set them out to bake.

All summer long they were the wives of green leaves
with husbands of wood.  The ants, like children,
they brushed out the door and lay in their living room
listening to birds in the attic.  In winter

they abandoned the house—the floors
too deep, too wet, too many windows to close,
but in spring they returned, shook out
the carpets, rearranged furniture of twigs.

One spring, the stand of birches—their branches
burnished silver—their leaves bursting with green—
stood abandoned—no housewives of trees threw open
their doors, rejoiced over windows to clean.


Published Over a Threshold of Roots, Sandra Larson, Pudding House Chapbook Series, 2007