Cut it way back.
Do not be afraid to pinch the first,
the only blossom. The berry cannot thrive
in freedom. Have no mercy,

gardener. Train the tree to a leader
crowned by the uppermost bud.
Make ten o'clock your angle
for the outstretched limbs
of the apple. Prune
when the knife is sharp,
taking care that the scar be neat.
To share the surgeon's belief in healing,
you must trust what has been taken from you
is a blessing. Trust

by April, the cherry and pear
will fill in, stitching
the dreamiest lace, punto in aria,
think of it
as a veil if you must.

And the rose, this is a special
case. When winter's close, cut back
the tallest stems, then with soil
topped with straw or leaves, bury the plant,
make the mound as high as you can,
as if the grave were your own
impermanent home, as if you believed anything
could bloom again.