Dawn Redwood has to be a film star! She has a presence, even in winter, when I saw her first, bare in the snow. Here, I imagine her homesick, as I did for Parrotia persica, longing for her homeland, though aware of her fame here. She is, after all, in the Meeting with Remarkable Trees and the Golden Jubilee hall of fame! Her seeds went to America, but grew here first. I played with the idea, as with Marilyn Monroe, that America wanted her, but she was ours first. There is a wonderful photo of her in the library, standing with Gilmour in the full green of summer, so easy to imagine that a frock. I felt a particular sympathy for her, both of us born the same year!
Lately, I've been seeing her in the garden,
not at her best, says she's ragged, says she
feels a million years old in the mornings,
sometimes older. I worry about her,
her joints in the damp, but she says likes it,
says she spends most of her time by the lake.
She's confessed that her thoughts have turned
to Szechuan, thinks of it often, its turquoise
rivers, its mountains; then discards it, feels
rooted here, where she's someone. You
should see her in green! Do you remember
the photo, standing with Gilmour, every inch
a Monroe? America wanted her, but we got her
first. A one-off, that undefinable something
you're drawn to, the way you know that she's
there, the way she holds herself, tall.