All Dressed Up for a Nap

by Gabriel Wainio-Théberge

The locust leaves fall in
Piles like bugs clustering
Over a meal, they hit
Fall nylon with a grasshopper’s
Embarrassed bump.
They jump
Like divers off this one, though,
An autumn observer would
Say.  (As in kids
From the side of the pool.)
This tree whose four
Big limbs branch
Backwards, into the trunk’s
Roil of seemingly dozens
Of columns, tendons in a
Rope.  Muscling life
Into a Hallowe’en hole –
Full of blue beetles,
Half mushrooms,
Rot-broth –
Will soon be too much for them.
(All the way
Down to the
Soil,
Between twists
Like a suburban street.)

When I was
Young, this was the tree
Whose branches I would peer
Through to picture
The blue sky as
An upside-down ocean.
Between myself and
That antifreeze fantasy rushing up to meet me
Intervened the locust
Leaves,
Aged intensely,
Pleated in perfect V’s.
Their transcendent
Joy in gravity,
As in art or
Music or
Poetry,
Or sea,
Or tea
Or
Tree.
The way I had of intervening things for myself then
Made me less alive, but gave
Me the best sense I’ll have of
How this dying being
Was alive, if not
How alive it was.

A pet black cloud
Always darkening the window;
A wild plaza,
The masterpiece of a civilization

Gabriel Wainio-Théberge

Contributing Author

Other works on The Blasted Tree:


All Dressed Up for a Nap by Gabriel Wainio-Théberge is a Blasted Tree original poem.

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