“The Question of Old Trees,” Ensign, Dec. 1979, 56
In the Garden of Gethsemane
they squat in the rain like ancient Muslems.
Pruned to the quick, pale green leavings of three centuries
supple above their tumored bellies fat five feet across.
The olive trees alone would make this holy ground.
In their shadowy reaches their rootings were awake
to the intimate sojourner,
His fugitive peace,
before the incalculable fraud.
Out of the gray-black hulks
the wispy limbs give to the wind,
and the tasteless rain goes without falling
like old tears.
The thousand thousands shout their incredible claims
in the narrow crossings of this barkless place
And the heavy trunks store their bright secrets.
It would not take another cross to let them flow;
The arms are raised by judicious pruning
and have met the cuts with impertinent green.