Moody Tree

Your name means mountain ebony,

a certain Bauhinia,

common to coastal California,

but I call you moody.

You own my front yard,

dominate passages and pathways,

burgeoning weight of verdure or

leafy reaches for spider’s webby catch to

neighboring anchors–rose bush branch or

parked car side mirrors.

How you please my wispy-boned mother braked still,

the dog leashed to the wheel chair,

under a relenting shade,

cooling an afternoon zephyr.

In spring or autumn, sometimes winter too,

you boom-blossom burbling orchids,

delicate pink and purple hazy bells

that sometimes ring in summer too.

That’s when your leaves burst butterfly hearts

of hunter green fringed in lemon-lime edges, a

hovering, healthy, verdant vibrancy.

But on any given week without reason,

your leaves brown at the edges,

then all the way through,

baring skeletal bramble

like bones of the cancerous,




for the winter–or summer complaint,

marring the yard, baring the hidden wreckage behind you.

That’s when the pods hang dry in rusts and reds, seeds

to bake or burst, sturdy uterine drip packets,

like dry, pea pod icicle tears crying,

yet unyielding to the grip.

And the next week,

they’re gone,

replaced by the brilliant buds like

poking penis plants peek through tightly tubed petals,

orchid splendor,

the softer side on a misty Monday.

Until Tuesday.

When the mood strikes.

Which outfit to wear for today?


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