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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 1: January 2020
Prose Poem: 146 words
By Lynn Pattison

Lora is never alone.


She’s part of an engine. Every hour signals from roots, core, and loam rise in her, warning scents blown from other trees. She responds. Inside each nearby tree, a young sapling. Most have been here longer than she but they are kin through root and woody memory. She doesn’t know the other way she is linked to the tree. Before, when she breathed as humans do, she produced millions of particles of the carbon dioxide trees require, never thinking. So did her parents and grandparents. Some of those molecules, along with millions of others, are fixed into wood—only sixty or thirty rings away from her heart. A link she cannot know but that upholds her. The only loneliness she fears—the culling of the rest—lone tree after the machines have left, standing naked as bone, in front of a house.

Lynn Pattison
Issue 1, January 2020

is the author of two chapbooks, tesla’s daughter (March St. Press) and Walking Back the Cat (Bright Hill Press), and a full-length collection of poems, Light That Sounds Like Breaking (Mayapple Press).

Her work has appeared in Brilliant Corners, Harpur Palate, KYSO Flash, New Flash Fiction Review, Rattle, Rhino, Slipstream, Smartish Pace, The Atlanta Review, The MacGuffin, and The Notre Dame Review, among others; and has been anthologized in several venues, including Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse (Lost Horse Press, 2017), in plein air: poems and drawings of the natural world (Poetic Licence Press), The Cento: A Collection of Collage Poems, and The Dire Elegies: 59 Poets on Endangered Species.

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