"Tree Marriage" is the fifth song of David Leisner's song cycle Fidelity.
This cycle was originally written for tenor, baritone and piano, but the tenor part may also be sung by a soprano.
The audio selection in the player to the right features Nina Faia, soprano, Anthony Zoeller, baritone, and Terry Decima, piano. The recording is from a live performance in Boston, 1998. Used with the permission of the composer. To listen, please click on the track name itself.
from "Five Accounts of a Monogamous Man”
by William Meredith
In Chota Nagpur and Bengal
the betrothed are tied with threads to
mango trees, they marry the trees
as well as one another, and
the two trees marry each other.
Could we do that sometime with oaks
or beeches? This gossamer we
hold each other with, this web
of love and habit is not enough.
In mistrust of heavier ties,
I would like tree-siblings for us,
standing together somewhere, two
trees married with us, lightly, their
fingers barely touching in sleep,
our threads invisible but holding.