Most May trees are tentative

their tiny sparks of leaves testing, tasting

but here and there is one

all out of order

its pop of blossoms first rebels

whose flagrant petals will drop docile

and leave them to recede unspectacular

almost invisible in June’s front yards.


-Joanie Heineman


I spent my childhood in Peru, where my American parents did literacy work with indigenous groups. At age 15, I moved back to the States to find myself a foreigner. I spent years assimilating and ended up an ordinary adult: married, 2 kids and a dog, English teacher in a Midwestern town. But I’ve learned that the most mundane can be exotic–it’s the details and noticing that counts. I have been writing poems in my head since I can remember, but I’ve only recently had the courage to put them on the page.