Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature: over 400,000 monthly users

Michael T. Young: An American Tree

A tree is never just a tree, it’s not

just maple, spruce, or birch but always this tree

rooted in American soil, its rot

peculiar to this latitude and history,

to all that happens in its shade, and all

that happens through its winter nakedness:

the boys that clamber at its trunk and fall,

a base for tag, young couples stealing kisses,


or where an African American

bleeds out beside the officer’s dark boots,

and wheezes into the grass he smells one

last time, his blood seeping down to the roots,

twisting up through sapwood, beating defiance

through bark, a gnarl clenched like a fist in silence.


Copyright 2018 Michael T. Young

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This entry was posted on July 13, 2018 by in Poetry, Social Justice, War and Peace and tagged , , .

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