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Issue 18 Cover by Cass Garrison.jpg

Fahmidan Journal / Issue 18 

Finding Tongues in Trees

By Donna Vorreyer

The bark of most trees yields to growth by splitting

or filling from within, but not so the sycamore.

Its bark flakes in uneven pieces, leaves its surface

mottled green and gray. Some mistake this for

disease, mark the trunks with Xs, call the surgeons

like we did for my father when he began to shed

and shiver, his trunk covered with sores, bruises blooming

on his limbs, the skin unable to stretch and accommodate

what roiled beneath. We did not know how to speak

to him of death, what words, until one day his frame,

wasted and bent, adorned with damage, pulsed with light,

and his heart, that most secret crocus, broke open

and poured its bright into the winter air and even when

he breathed his last, my God, there was music in that sigh,

it was joyful, and the trees all waved their arms

and taught us how to split and heal and sing.

Donna Vorreyer

Donna Vorreyer

Author / 

Donna Vorreyer is the author of To Everything There Is (2020), Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (2016) and A House of Many Windows (2013), all from Sundress Publications. Her poetry, fiction, and essay work have appeared in Ploughshares, Cherry Tree, Poet Lore, Salamander, Harpur Palate, Booth, and many others. She lives and creates in the Chicago area and hosts the monthly online reading series A Hundred Pitchers of Honey.

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