image for "Willow"

here in wyandot county ohio a willow tree
weeps at the woods in a bleeding jealous rage that
he’s all the way out here and they are all the way in there
step fathers and fathers have sent their boys out
for a switch
picking little whips picking small weapons to heal
sins and playing in the garden shooting your eyes out with bb guns and
stolen gas station porno
but the willow tree does not mind the switch picking
or the kisses had near his boughs
he simply wants an undergrowth of things
more dangerous than ragweed and mowed lawns
he wants to idly die by a stream and house a family of raccoons and other pests
because the men from the building by his pond will cut him down and burn his parts
—like a ripe october hog
or make him into chairs or a table for a child
this disgusts the strength of his branches and twine
the willow wants the woods to love him
to take him back after the tree line moved
so far back so long ago
the willow wants what the willow wants and that’s
to be back in the woods

image for "Willow"

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Zachary Smith has been featured in publications and readings around Columbus, Ohio, and sometimes elsewhere. On the verge of graduating from The Ohio State University with two degrees, Zach finds time to write in the early mornings before class, work, and the waking of his baby daughter.

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