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Viterbo University > TOUCHSTONE Magazine > Issue 67 > Literature > A tree, Bert

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A tree, Bert

By David Krump

You will find that there is time to fish too, to
Envy the vicious precision of the blue heron.

Envy, as in the infantile sequoia in the direct
Shade of his centuries-old siblings, evolves into hate.

This is why there grows nothing but hatred beneath
The blind redwoods.

Hatred and half-broken splats, plates of blacktop.

Favor yourself. Take notice of the young heron's beak,
Flashing without a splash down through the stream top, emerging with frog.

The movement scatters the dotted lines between air and water, effortlessly.
This is a metaphor for marriage, one might say.

There is a noticeable amount of effort that must go into hating.
When you sleep, she questioned indifferently, curling her hair, do you think only of yourself?

We do all this now: wish away the dusky memory of a heron, regret the short
Consummation of air and water, our loud and dusty tackle boxes, the eventual
Frightening of everything, even ourselves.

In prison, my father dreamed of sequoias, dreamed sequoia dreams that grew like me.

We practice a new sort of design breaking, divorce devoid of emotion.
The reason is a word, damage. We've made it nothing and everything.
An evolutionary binary merging, slow and smart, a tortoise playing chess.

My dear friend in New York, she called me last night. She said with confidence
With confidentiality that maybe you will never marry, for many reasons.

I worried for you while my fear became a heron's beak. It smashed itself
Repeatedly until, disconnected of bird, it bled quiet blood beneath a dying sequoia.

In a letter about his recent and last dream, my father told me of rain running down the fattened solid trunk of a tree: sad sweet sequoia sweat. I named the tree Bert and I have no idea why, he wrote.