Abandonment Under the Walnut Tree
by D. A. Powell
“Your gang’s done gone away.”
—The 119th Calypso, Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Something seems to have gnawed that walnut leaf.
You face your wrinkles, daily, in the mirror.
But the wrinkles are so slimming, they rather flatter.
Revel in the squat luck of that unhappy tree,
who can’t take a mate from among the oaks or gums.
Ah, but if I could I would, the mirror version says,
because he speaks to you. He is your truer self
all dopey in the glass. He wouldn’t stand alone
for hours, without at least a feel for the gall of oaks,
the gum tree bud caps, the sweet gum’s prickly balls.
Oh, he’s a caution, that reflection man.
He’s made himself a study in the trees.
You is a strewn shattered leaf I’d step on, he says.
Do whatever it is you’d like to do. Be quick.