hickory, autumn, fall

By then I was learning to will things into being.
By then I was leaning into trees.

When the landscaper wrenched you
from the ground to build a deck in the yard,

I heard the earth gasp, the ground rumbled—
snapped, splintered, split.

The sky spit teeth, geese caught
in the crossfire, screamed.

It won’t live, said the landscaper
when I asked him to replant you.


After the transplant the moon
sugar-lit in silver shadows.

Your leaves wilted, curled, rolled.
A ruffle of breath remained in your trunk.

Daily, I spoke to you
through the kitchen window.

Evenings, I anointed your limbs
with essence of nard. I cleansed your trunk

with my hair. The neighbors shook
their heads, drew their shades.

In time, your hickory branches raised.
In time, the earth sang its praise.


By Louisa Muniz

Louisa Muniz lives in Sayreville, N.J. She holds a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Kean University. Her work has appeared in Tinderbox Journal, Palette Poetry, Menacing Hedge, Poetry Quarterly, PANK Magazine, Jabberwock Review and elsewhere. She won the Sheila-Na-Gig 2019 Spring Contest for her poem Stone Turned Sand. Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net. Her Chapbook, After Heavy Rains by Finishing Line Press is forthcoming.