Today's poem is by Cameron Barnett

Black Locusts

There are no gardens in my neighborhood,
just three black locust trees
in my backyard.
All spring, cream-white petals
blooming like baby teeth,
nectar drooling from the center.
In the summer they stand
as if for a portrait,
lined up like siblings
in the corner of my window.
I grow fond of how they bend
toward each other.
By autumn they droop
and withdraw like moody teens,
leaving all their trash behind them.
They are the children I pray every night to have.
In western Pennsylvania
three seasons go by in a day.
I'm used to it.
I take the leaf blower to their bases,
a stay-at-home father cleaning out
and rearranging rooms while empty-nesting,
whistling all the while.
Later, when winter comes,
I watch kudzu creep up their trunks,
wrapping itself over every inch,
stealing away the last bits of sun.
Before the first snowfall I'll sharpen a hatchet,
read up on girdling, stand at the window,
and wonder which sort of death they deserve.

Copyright © 2017 Cameron Barnett All rights reserved
from The Drowning Boy's Guide to Water
Autumn House Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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