Ode to My Childhood Tree 

Your ashy

Remains in me

Like eighty five tree rings of memories

Densely packed lessons

I could not learn

Until the time came for the sky’s lightning powered winds to

Push, crack its trunk

Until the time came for dampened dirt to

Call it’s burrowing and soil softening worms 


Earth says I cannot learn 

Until She begins your entering 

into what’s next in

 a life-well lived.




Hokis {n., /hō/kēs/ Armenian for “my soul“ or ‘my beloved.”} channels zir trauma-inoculated mistrust in humanity and love for puzzles into unfolding poems. Ze has worked as a community organizer, high school teacher, and mindful body educator. Ze is currently Senior Editor of Headline Poetry. Zir work can be found in Tiny Seed Literary Journal, Line Rider Press, and Indie Blu(e) Publishing.