Sunday Poem

Browsing the Annual Tree Ring Data Bank

I found your Himalayan chronology:
a comprehensive set of cores
from a ski area in Kashmir.
I know you were there in 1973
and you likely felt the stay of November,
before snow slams down
the airplanes — mountain-shine
through long blue needles, shadows
and cores fresh on the snow in stripes.
I can picture the measurement, later:
Ashok bringing in tea, sweet, gingery,
goat-milk thick and held far
from the calipers. You drank
the first half in 1790 between the earlywood
and latewood. In 1600, you remembered
the rest of it but it had a skin by then.
The oldest pith came from a seedling
in the year of Babur’s first arrival,
complete with court painters to capture
wild Hidustani beasts. (There’s a moment of privacy
before uploading data onto the Persian vellum
of the internet like a miniature painting
before the gold leaf.)

by Hanna Coy
from You Are Here–
The Journal of Creatrive Geography, 2010