The tree enchants the riverbank,
so wide, gnarled and hollow,
its skin beneath the shedding bark
a mottled map, an abstract painter’s
canvas, its limbs and branches
turning white as bone as it climbs,
crowding out the neighbors
to display that ivory crown.
I duck through the entrance
in its side, stand in a space
filled with light from constellations,
the holes of birds with chisel beaks,
look up where the heartwood
feeds rot and ants moving
toward the sky, put my hand
on brittle xylem still alive with sap
rising to a galaxy of star shaped leaves
and thorny fruits as centuries pass.
I worked for many years as a technical and medical writer in Birmingham, Alabama. I was also a frequent contributor to Birmingham Magazine, Alabama Magazine, and other regional publications. My feature each month in Birmingham Magazine examined life in the city through a poet’s eyes. I now live and write in Indianapolis, where I also work in the wine business. As a native Hoosier much of my poetry reflects my upbringing and fascination with the Midwest, its culture and its history. Recently, I’ve had poems published in RavensPerch, Northwest Indiana Literary Journal, White Wall Review, The Tiny Seed Literary Journal, The Write Launch, Flying Island, among others. I am a graduate of Wabash College.