American Icon on Wood, donnarkevic

Urban-11-P1020327Bisbee Shadow, 15X19, watercolor, Gary Buhler



When Dzaidzi staggers home drunk,
I scramble up the buckeye tree
in our yard. Baci locks him out,
adding to his god-damning everything:
from the porch steps he can’t climb
to the green army men I abandoned.

Camouflaged behind five-fingered leaves,
I hide, watching Dzaidzi stumble
and search for balance. He grabs the tree trunk,
lowering himself, coming to sunken-rest,
his figure, a sorrowful heap of clothes,
an exhausted mourner in a crucifixion icon.

From above, the only movement,
strands of hair the wind plays with
like grass that grows on the grave
of his son, killed in a war my history book
describes in a few pages, photographs,
a treeless land, burned like Buddhist monks.

Climbing down, I scrape my knee.
I stare at my sleeping grandfather, his face
the image of my dead uncle’s. Or so they say.
When I notice the blood, I ignore the fact
I will grow larger than any tree, wait beside him,
and wonder how deep the roots have taken.


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