Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine poet laureate

Carl Little writes that today’s poem began in the backyard of his home on Great Cranberry Island, where he discovered a small pine behind the shed.

Young Pine

By Carl Little

The white pine that happened to grow

needles-to-clapboard at the back of the shed

looks as if it is hiding

from the cops or a gang,

or is simply playing hide-and-seek,

a nine-year-old girl, say,

with gentle boughs

hugging the corner of the outbuilding,

trembling in a breeze, hoping

no one notices her until

she can reach a size where the house owner

won’t consider her

spindly enough to be cut down.

Lithe, small, hidden,

the young pine is beautiful.

Someone should embrace her

as she grows toward the roofline,

save her from the saw.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2010 Carl Little. Reprinted from Maine in “Four Seasons” (Down East Books, 2010) by permission of Carl Little. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, special consultant to the Maine poet laureate, at [email protected] or 228-8263. “Take Heart: Poems from Maine,” an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.

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