Trees Make You Think of Other Things

You never think of flowers
In relation to anything else, nor

Even trees, though trees at least
Seem to scaffold the sky at times,

(As if the particular vista you’re
Thinking of was a work in progress.)

And once, on a walk in the woods
With your father, you came upon

A rotted red oak—the old man’s guess—
Strewn over the two-track like a toppled

Ghost. “Gypsy moths,” he whispered,
Fingering the grey bark with a reverence

The living would never expect of him.
So: it seems that trees do make you

Think of other things, and there are so
Many of them—trees and other things—

That you begin to feel oppressed by
The incalculable intimations, the math

Of associations, the cold roots, the leaves.

Jon Ballard's poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Blue Earth Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Words-Myth, The Valparaiso Poetry Review, Barnwood Magazine, Stone Table Review, Wheelhouse and others. He has two chapbooks due in 2007: Lonesome (Pudding House Publications) and Sad Town (Maverick Duck Press). A Michigan native, he currently lives in Mexico City, Mexico. (jon_betsy@yahoo.com)

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761