The 2River View 17.2 (Winter 2013)

Angie Macri

The Live Oak Lives in Livid Ways

The live oak lives in livid ways
of evergreen, and so it clings
to every southern sun. It keeps
everything in its living wages.
A live wire, your voice, saying
I can go. No, I will keep that day
as a liturgy of honey bees
and their effort, of building
combs in a livelihood of pollen,
in the hollow of the tree,
in a space of smoothed bark
and hanging gold hexagons
as pieces of turtle shell.
The hardwood spreads
its heavy crown, Spanish moss
dangling in nebulas. Jays
flare among the branches,
eating the acorns that it bears.
The black bees hear the piping
of their young queens. In all this,
you don’t mean anything.
As the morning star becomes
an evening star in an orbit
on the other side of the sun,
that day will become a rite, built
in a space wrapped with wax
of my belly, words of my choosing.


Our radiant maidenhair tree
with seeds soft
and bitter

stands under men who dive out
of planes from Hunter Field.
They glide over

the steam shovels and coal gondolas
around Sparta and the old
strip mines

of boulders, over soybean rust
and dry glacial plains.
We watch them

bloom from seeds to parachutes
of delicate red. Our ginkgo

a thick crown, a rocket of fossil
through chaff, coal dust,

and diesel, great limbs reaching.
The men land from the sky
and drive away.

Angie Macri hails from southern Illinois. Her recent work appears in Natural Bridge and Tar River Poetry, and Terrain. An Arkansas Arts Council fellow, she teaches in Little Rock. contact