New Poem

by nicolecallihan

The Trees

In a hot bath I think of you
but turn my mind instead to the trees
my mother cut down late last spring.
They wouldn’t let the sun in, she said,
and the neighbors shook their heads.
It is, after all, Oklahoma,
and with those unbearable summers,
who wouldn’t want the shade?

Now winter,
her voice breaking over the line,
limbs buckle with the weight of ice,
and even this far away, I feel
the brittleness in my own bones.

In the fogged mirror, I rub
a circle with the heel of my palm.
My throat catches my breath.
I hardly recognize what I see.

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