Some Trees by the Creek in April

by Cal Freeman

Duff, ramets of ailanthus, 
a feast of ants, frass 
for aphids to follow into doom.
The marcescent ones
have choked their petioles
to wither. They are the color
of paper bags or else
the paper bags have fooled us
into mistaking them
for last year’s leaves.
Lean of widow makers,
bed of arthropods, needle 
down and silt. 
All catkins 
droop with new racemes
is a guidebook description, 
so why does it sound today 
like an aphorism against hope? 



Cal Freeman is the author of the book Fight Songs. His writing has appeared in many journals including Southword, The Moth, Passages North, The Journal, Hippocampus, Southwest Review, Post Road, and The Poetry Review. His poetry collection, Poolside at the Dearborn Inn, is forthcoming from R & R Press in 2022. He currently serves as music editor of The Museum of Americana and teaches at Oakland University.

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