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Olive Tree Treaty

“Don’t know how long it will take to bloom,/but I want to make a start/tomorrow.”

I want to plant an olive tree

in the yard.

Don’t know how long it will take to bloom,

but I want to make a start


Fill the short days of my public life

with the expectation of its birth,

wonder through the long stretches

of my unconsciousness

over the mysteries of growing,

imagine the powers of genesis

at work.


Because, I know it.

Somewhere, sometime,

in days past,

between the seed and the soil,

spear and space,

a treaty of peace was signed:

the earth would claim autonomy no more;

the seed would admit the utter loneliness

of its torrential strength.


It must have been a special night

the night of the treaty

with even the moon

mating with the sky

not as a king its subject

but as a noble knight

his loved one.


When this special night comes again

I will leave the garment of my knowledge


for nudity to enter us and clothe us both

in harmony.


Youlika Masry, a dual citizen of Greece and the United States, completed her legal education in Greece and France and also studied political theory in the United States. In addition to publishing poetry, she writes and translates books and essays in literature; the social sciences; religion and theology.

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