Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Robert Walicki: If a Tree Falls

A tree falls does anyone care if it makes it into this poem?

A poem bone deep and raw, broken into bark

and hanging on to the edge of a season like three years of sobriety?

If a tree falls by Billy K’s bar will anyone get up off of their bar stools to notice the excavator devouring earth outside, gutting grooves in the mud for plumbing?

I’m here, laying white pipe down

like bones in a grave, all of us addicts and has-beens have made it here before the rain,

for the burial of elm, and maple, thicket of Sweet William and Sage because an IKEA needs floor drains. because Conan, the ex-con is spotting me,

following behind with a shovel, to watch the operator above me fling dirt

In my face, call me pig. I let him

dig me out, scratch a line in the strata, ask no questions,

but watch how close the bucket gets to my head, the burning

length of the day on my face. We step out, share a common moment,

and bottled water, like muddy equals,

the sounds of falling trees, all around us.


Copyright 2018 Robert Walicki

Robert Walicki is a poet and licensed plumber who lives in Pittsburgh.

One comment on “Robert Walicki: If a Tree Falls

  1. Susan Aurinko
    February 21, 2019

    This is a marvel of a poem. Reading it I felt as if I was there in the mud with you all – the line “I’m here, laying white pipe down like bones in a grave…” gave me chills – the kind you get when something moves you beyond saying wow…

    Liked by 1 person

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