Richard Krawiec

Cut Branches

for two weeks
they've lain piled
in the growing scuffle
of my side lawn
a loose groping
of plum branches
leaves withered
to a thick sensuous orange
like the wrinkled bodies
of dried tomatoes

this is just illusion
there will be no harvest
only the slow death of neglect

two dozen new shoots
thin purple stalks balanced
with stair-stepped leaves
sprout around the pile
of severed limbs
a fence as erratic and permeable
as the Mexican border
as love
that desperate immigrant
seeking something better
something new

it may be true
that one death feeds
a new life   but nobody can say
why branches must be cut
where something else will grow
when debris will be removed

silence, stillness

even the hum
of the air conditioner
doesn't break
the illusion
of silence inside

the rapid declining chirps
like paper torn and scattered
fails to alter
the stillness outside

beyond the loud clack
of a pen against teeth
the swaying oak bursting
with clumps of acorns

silence, stillness

who are the leaves
waving at in such desperate joy?
what does the screen
enforce and protect?

Richard Krawiec has published two novels, a story collection, four plays, and the chapbook Breakdown. His poetry appears in Blue Moon Review, many mountains moving, Shenandoah, sou'wester, Witness, and elsewhere. Krawiec has received fellowships from the NEA, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the North Carolina Arts Council. contact


13.3 (Spring 2009)   The 2River View AuthorsPoemsPDFArchives2River

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