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.