The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

An Open Letter…

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One of the final prompts in this year’s PAD Challenge was “write an open letter poem.”  I had been thinking about those confounding dead trees I see each day at the edge of the faculty parking lot at school, and decided on a whim to address those trees in my letter.

Ah, hell!  The truth is that I’ve been pissed at myself for a few years for not being able to find out what those trees really mean to me as a poet.  I decided as a last-ditch effort to make them the subject of this poem, and if it didn’t work out I was going to surrender to the notion of not being able to write a poem about them.  Thankfully, this one worked out pretty well.

Oddly, this is the second poem I’ve written that has taken the faculty parking lot as inspiration.  Here’s the other one from two years ago:  Faculty Lot, January.

For now, though, here’s what I got out of the trees.

An Open Letter to the Dying Trees at the Edge of the Faculty Parking Lot

Winter has gnawed off your bark,
leaving you vulnerable to rot
in the wet of April and blisters
and dryness in August.  You creak
and crack against the wind.  Now
your spines are splintered and
you’re falling onto each other.

We know institutional abuses
relentless as time.  We know
the ground is fetid and soft
with decay, but you won’t loose
your roots—you stand
austere and defiant each day.


Written by seeker70

January 21, 2016 at 8:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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