Due to limited control of our formatting on posts, the formatting of the following poem is incorrect.
Tall tales are as common as pines from the women,
Cleverly rooted, sturdy among factual shrubs.
But the fringed branches are always reaching,
embellished in diamonds, dewdrops or fresh-squeezed tears,
- It doesn’t matter.
For every tale recounted, an earnest tree will shoot straight up,
a duplicate in everything but the details.
Here in the thicket certainties change and drift,
I am often lost, trying to find my way.
- What matters - a story that sings true or truthful?
Wearing dressing gowns and robes, with bed-head or headdress,
Twining their history with stars, spinning it again and again till it shines.
The stories strike over steaming mugs and plastic tablecloths,
Orally scorching black flowers into soft pink tissue.
- You were always blinded by our flash.
An Orb-eyed child collects tradable truths.
Deliberately using cold building blocks,
to make what it says on the box.
Like the dint of gravel in my knee, I seek the solid.
- Tap, tap, tap on the trees, screaming for syrup
Now I walk in wonder, finding they are solid enough to sit against.
I appreciate the subtly of my ancestry, this matriarchal making up.
They blur details and dates with fresh-licked thumbs.
Stealing morsels from others, like the chips left on my plate.
- Well, what will you tell your children? A tale that feels
right or good?
I’ll tell them the wind waving the trees is a giant’s shudder,
and the mist rising from the violent-green moss is his breath.
Tall embracing tales that will make their stomachs flutter,
Like a scrap of silk, torn and trembling against a moonless night.