a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
AMERICAN ICON ON WOOD
When Dzaidzi staggers home drunk,
I scramble up the buckeye tree
in our yard. Baci locks him out,
adding to his god-damning everything:
from the porch steps he can’t climb
to the green army men I abandoned.
Camouflaged behind five-fingered leaves,
I hide, watching Dzaidzi stumble
and search for balance. He grabs the tree trunk,
lowering himself, coming to sunken-rest,
his figure, a sorrowful heap of clothes,
an exhausted mourner in a crucifixion icon.
From above, the only movement,
strands of hair the wind plays with
like grass that grows on the grave
of his son, killed in a war my history book
describes in a few pages, photographs,
a treeless land, burned like Buddhist monks.
Climbing down, I scrape my knee.
I stare at my sleeping grandfather, his face
the image of my dead uncle’s. Or so they say.
When I notice the blood, I ignore the fact
I will grow larger than any tree, wait beside him,
and wonder how deep the roots have taken.
donnarkevic: Weston, WV. MFA National University. Recent poetry has appeared in Bijou Poetry Review, Naugatuck River Review, Prime Number, and Off the Coast. Poetry Chapbooks include Laundry, published by Main Street Rag. In 2012, Buffalo Gal was a finalist in the Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights. FutureCycle Press published Admissions, a book of poems, in 2013.