Kierstin Bridger The purple silhouette on white icing of snow cottonwood, cottonwood, cottonwood. Would you believe how often I look to you, archangel, in your hallowed stem, braintree, mountain corral, redeemer. You are my shadow, tree. There wasnât a time when you did not carry my aâectionâ walking the crumbled sidewalksâ hometown wire fences couldnât restrain unabashed, soft-confetti release which turned sodden hours later after the rains ruined your joyâ caterpillar-like ï¬uâ amid aspen leaves in the gutterâyou littered the way to church, me in my scuâed patent leather not alone, not alone, not alone. You, like the Jesus in my heart. Even in your sorrowful waste, your dual spirit of blizzard ï¬ight, and course ashen barkâ tough gray skin, you, elephant who wonât forgetâ I know you trumpet inaudibly low, mourn the grief I bury, we all bury, your lifespan is shorter than an oak but lingers in rough-sawn stumps which dot the landscape: burnt grass lawns, pasture, and town parks. Your telepathy tastes like milk from a kindergarten carton, like vanilla wafers melted on the tongue. Perhaps I should have pulled over, waded through the drifts to capture the contrast of bright regal boughs, your stolid
Prairie Schooner – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Aug 9, 2017
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