audio: Pines
audio of Callie Siskel's poem, Pines

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Callie Siskel



                — After Peter Taylor

      Why should the trees that line the tiresome,
      familiar street surprise you, walking through
      the neighborhood? It’s March. The sour gum
      is bare. What made you think it’d break into
      a fit of scarlet leaves? A maple split
      the pavement once when you were still a kid.
      You tripped over the jagged edge and bit
      your tender tongue. You hadn’t tasted blood
      till then. But now, you’re out for shaving cream,
      having cut yourself a hundred times.
      You left your sons asleep. In last night’s dream,
      you were a boy again, back when the pines
      dropped cones for you alone, when mysteries
      of every kind were manifest in trees.