The Poet Tree

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A tree of poets,
it is just as you imagine.
Murmurs spiral from the leaves made of glass spun from words and silence

and land deftly onto the pages below.

This is the tree under which poets sit and pull words from their veins.

It is where we come to find the fissure in our mind’s skin to thread out phrases loud enough to make us still as we watch our fingers warm hour after hour.

This is where we come to place our pens in the palms of others and trust them to protect our words as they are the only defense we have.

Each of us has a soul of mirrors and glass that reflect ideas and pull others through.
The Poet Tree is silent until we find our glass is cracked,
and our mirrors are shattered
and nothing poetic can come from

Destruction anymore.

At nightfall we are trembling

But by daybreak, we compose a piece that stills our hands
and mutes the cacophony in our hearts.

Let us be translucent again.

Those by the Poet Tree are scattered.

Some are nestled up between the silent cold branches where words dart overhead,
chiming the glass leaves as they swoop past.
Up there, words are at their fingertips but only if they stretch far enough.
Some lay sprawled out
on the paper leaf pages where
The tails of sentences
Rustle the ground and

Poke at their ears.

The swish of their shoes create a melody of silence dense enough to create something new.

At the Poet Tree, our wrists, now flushed and empty have been painted with smears of Times New Roman and ballpoint ink.
And at last, we have found home.
-Nine to Eleven

Greater than Twelve

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I stared at his shadow on the wall. It was shaky and pale and split against the orange church paint.
He said
“You’re good. No standards you have to meet or anything to change. You’re good. Remember that.”
I didn’t meet his eyes that mirrored our father’s.
I couldn’t.
I only stared at his shadow behind his back.
His shoes are dumb old man shoes
And his flannels smelled like he always has
I have one of his floral print hats
And his copy of Catcher In The Rye.
I’m only on chapter four.
I remember ten years ago, on that creaky bunk bed, you showed me a song that stared with,
“I met a girl named Tara,
And she lived in the heart of America”
That was the first song I ever leaned the words to,
The first song I ever fell asleep to.
I wanted your matchbox cars and pens and scraps of legal pad paper at six years old.
And just the other day, at sixteen, I wanted the love in your heart and your old shirt and your thinning lyric notebook you kept in the tenth grade.
You, of all twelve of us, are most like my guardian.
Your concern and compassion for your newest littlest brother has shone through
tunnels of black in your eyes, and you still refuse to wipe your lenses on your shirt.
My throat has been closing up, and I’ve been waiting for the tears to begin
Hit with waves of nostalgia and gratitude,
But I guess I’m saving them for your wedding day.
I’m sure she doesn’t hate the stars now,
She sees them in your eyes. She has to;
They’ve been there for as long as I’ve seen them.
nine to eleven