Snakes in those Trees


 An Ekphrastic Poem.  Photograph: “Trespass” by Suzanne Simmons. Used here with permission of the artist. 


I can’t help imagining

snakes in those trees,

like long, twisting ropes

reaching down toward a floor

that tries hard, but just can’t

really be there. A mirage

of a room, like a life,

or a love that you once

tried hard to imagine

holding back wild green

and the blank blue sky,

and creating a space

free of leaves, free of leaving,

where the last thing you’d dream of

is this kind of empty,

this kind of sweeping

crying hard to get done

before all you’re left with

are blue skies, wild green,

and the snakes in those trees,

and the hard fruit of wisdom

they’re holding out, waiting

for the scales to fall

from your widening eyes.

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