A Tree Grows in Venice

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Nicholas Rao.

A Tree Grows in Venice

There is no future for a tree
Here, where the palaces and shops
Like a loose-threaded tapestry
Hang on a million water drops.

Still, it had spread in bloom, as though
Pulled up by an ascending snare,
And from the sulfurous lagoon
Come, somehow, to embrace the air.

“You idiot!” (I told the tree),
“Your wild rash roots will wash away.
Your joy has no stability,
No grip upon the coming day.”

Perhaps the trees in Venice know
For what exuberance they die
And, knowing this, and living so,
Know better Whom they glorify.

Nicholas Rao is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in philosophy at Saint Louis University. He received his B.A. in philosophy from The Catholic University of America. He enjoys writing poetry, lyrics, theatrical works and short stories. His musical, Where the City Sings, in collaboration with the composer Evan Brende, was produced by The Catholic University of America’s CenterStage Theater. He is interested in writing poetry and verse that combine traditional forms with vivid contemporary language.

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