In the far north of a new country, the tree that bleeds
is visited by pilgrims enduring all manner of hardship
to reach its bewildering presence, its open wound.

Their prayers, written on scraps of paper, bits of leaves
or folded cloth, they tie to the out-stretched limbs,
a kind of permanent blossom there on the understanding,

as with any good apple tree, it will only bear fruit
when the branches have been weighted, trained down,
overwhelmed by desire to touch the dry impoverished earth.