where the metaphor of the tree hopefully falls apart

Mara Jebsen
| poetry


Dense spearmint, forest green, tender bending, how the tree

accepts the shape given it by wind and by shadow.

Shadow of industry, of church-tower and the taller

heads of bigger trees, could I, could we

also accept what has made us, shaped us, interplay:

polluted rain and one another, sunshine and childhood,

ancestry, barbie doll, textbook, timesheet,

bootycall, meme, Dorito and census—

And now, at this late juncture, when the ghostly

writing appears, heir apparent, on the wall: we wonder—

how fast can we be broken like a bone, set right?

Could we shake our mint leaves and bend the limb back?

Mara Jebsen is Brooklyn poet originally from Philadelphia and West Africa. A NYFA award winner, Mara has published in Sixth Finch, The American Poetry Review, Jet Fuel Review, and other fine journals. She teaches essay writing to young artists at New York University.

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