Back Seat

Back Seat

Tanya Huntington

Those of us born in the age
of television have forgotten
how to speak of trees.
Like this one I am lying under
now instead of touring bas-reliefs
of dancers carved in stone.
I wish I knew its name.
Its many crooked branches
drawn against the sky above me
and its oval leaves pointed
at the tiny, pale white blossoms
—far too many for December.
Louder now, the sound of bees
collecting pollen from the flowers
has reminded me that I can never know
this tree as well as they.
Thanks to this poem,
now I will not forget
how you sat in the back seat
of a red Nissan Platina
and out of nowhere asked me
whether sharks have tongues or not.
I didn’t know the answer.
Then you passed me
your binoculars so I could see
the scribbled chalk marks
made by stars at 80 miles per hour
against the blackness of
a sky not marred by city lights.
And you told me that all written verse
aspires to be a paradox:
like singing without music.
Such is this song for you.

TanyaHuntingtonTanya Huntington  is a contributing writer at Literal. Follow her on Twitter at @TanyaHuntington.

Posted: April 6, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *