Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

The Trees

by Nancy Devine


Before the elm trees had begun to die,
the older girls spread magazines and themselves,
like sod, on the sidewalk under the leaves.
The two of them, sisters, looked through the pages,
as they let the little girl sit
some distance away on the grass and look on.

The older girls were tall,
the little girl as small as the grass.
They talked of boys and men,
of smooth clothing, of new jeans,
never of the branches above them
dividing the sky like a mosaic.

They were as bold as what they said.
The girl listened, learning that afternoon
the truth about truth:
it ought to include the trees.