When Trees Pop, by Helen Losse

Two men stand, fists clenched,
inside a ring formed by oth­er men.
The oth­er men cheer the two men on,
while the man knocks anoth­er man down.
Near­by, at an over­pass, sev­er­al boys
throw sand and shout the word queer
at cer­tain oth­er boys.  Sev­er­al women
stand shoul­der to shoul­der, seem­ing­ly calm. 
But as they turn, one woman bites another
woman on her tongue.  Dusk then set­tles on
the right of way.  Tall ever­greens and deciduous
trees turn black.  A cool wind  rocks the bird house,
rus­tles tree branch­es, plays a tune on the treble
wind chimes.  Life is slow­ing from the rackets
of men:  noise from their cars, trucks,
their thrum­ming, black jackhammers. 
The light of a full, orange moon meets the fog.
That night trees pop, a man dies by another
man’s hand, and sev­er­al young girls shun
the bad girl to whom they must nev­er speak.

Helen Losse is the author of Bet­ter With Friends, pub­lished by Rank Stranger Press in 2009, and the Poet­ry Edi­tor of The Dead Mule School of South­ern Lit­er­a­ture. Her recent poet­ry pub­li­ca­tions and accep­tances include The Wild Goose Poet­ry Review, Shape of a Box, Dis­tillery and Hob­ble Creek Review.  She has two chap­books, Gath­er­ing the Bro­ken Pieces, and Paper Snowflakes. Edu­cat­ed at Mis­souri South­ern State and Wake For­est Uni­ver­si­ties, she lives in Win­ston-Salem, NC.

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2 Responses to When Trees Pop, by Helen Losse

  1. Pingback: More Of My Poems Online « Windows Toward the World

  2. Pingback: 2009, Better With Friends « Windows Toward the World

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