The Nurse Tree

Why waste away in a box
when you could be a nurse tree?
That’s what they call dead logs:
mushroomeries of the woods.

Your living room’s a wood
of couches, books, and chairs.
You’re dead not at all, but
could you be preparing

for things to grow inside
the chest of the log
you plan to become:
cherished compost heap

where heat turns the brown
mess of feelings, sorry,
that’s peelings, into comp-o-
sition? For we who love

our hands in dirt, a leaf skirt
decomposing seems an ideal
station between this life and
next: I visit your room

as on a forest walk. Passing
a fallen log — is that you? — 
I see a scarlet fungus cap
pop up from friable bark.

More Poems by Molly Peacock