The Joseph Tree

by Isabel Chenot

I know what came of Joseph’s coat —
after it had been torn and dipped in goat

blood, after it dripped the deepest dye of pain
into an old man’s troubled lifespan —

God gathered it up, too precious to be lost.
For God knows what it cost

to have a son torn out of his coat.

He unwove the fibers and he
sewed them through a tree.

The leaves came out in brilliant hues
worn around perforated sinews —

a cloak of all the colors in the thread,
spattered blood-red.