Issue 207, Winter 2013
a homely word:
a plosive, a long cry, a quiet stop, a silent letter
like a storm and the end of a storm,
the kind brewing
at the top of a pine,
(torn hair, bowed spirits, and,
later, straightened shoulders)
who’s who of the stirred and stirred up:
musicians, revolutionaries, pines.
A coniferous tree with needle-shaped leaves.
Suffering or trouble; there’s a pin inside.
The aphoristic seamstress was putting up a hem, a shelf of pins at her
“needles and pins / needles and pins / when a man marries / his trouble begins.”
A red pincushion with a twisted string, and a little pinecone tassel, at the
That particular smell, bracing,
exact as a sharpened point.
The Christmas tree, nude and fragrant,
propped as pure potential in
the corner with no nostalgia for
ornament or angels.
“Pine-Sol,” nauseating, earnest, imitation—
one means of knowing the real thing is the fake you find in school.
Pent up inside on a winter day, the steaming closeness from the radiators.
At the bell, running down the hillside. You wore a pinafore.
The air had a nip: pine
was traveling in the opposite direction.
Sunlight streaming through a stand of pines,
dancing backward through the A’s and T’s.
Is it fern or willow that’s the opposite of pine?
An alphabet made of trees.
In the clearing vanished hunters
left their arrowheads
and deep cuts in the boulder wall:
petroglyphs, repeating triangles.