Nick Thran: A Poem

Mirja Paljakka, courtesy Red Edge Images

Nick Thran

The aspen, maple and willow gathered one morning for coffee. 
“I don’t know how to properly measure my limited hours
against the excess of love that I feel for my fellow aspen,”
lamented the aspen. “There’s just this constant sense of having
let down my own kind.” “My husband is unreachable,”
said the maple. “He is too many tiny, stacked logs.
A part of him is always away in some fire or the other.”
“The plight of the ant makes me weep,” said the willow.
“And the plight of the grass. And the nasty things humans
will sometimes call one another as they glide by in canoes.”
Their conversation sounded like a day would sound in its entirety.
They pressed their foreheads together at night and otherwise
did not touch, though something was surely going on
under the soil, among roots that only the agilest bugs could see.
How many seasons passed like that before our family arrived?
How many years? Morning. A pot of hot coffee.
At the edge of the lake, three trees. 

Nick Thran's collection Earworm won the Trillium Book Award for Poetry in 2012. He recently spent several months in residence at Purdy House in Ontario; this poem comes from his time there. Read more about Nick and his work in our conversation.