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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 12: March 2022
Poem: 192 words
By Kika Dorsey

My Willow

 
My willow, like me, 
has turned every sentence into questions, 
older now, with four trunks leaning and torn, 
propped up with a wedge of wood 
to save the bees living in its hollow. 
It wonders how the canopy can touch ground, 
how to collapse toward root. 

It is your silence, love, 
how the bark with lines 
enter us in our own canopy, 
lines like wind-roads  
into this neighborhood 
of not knowing, 
though we hold it in our memory 
like its shade, 
like its tire swing shaped like a horse 
we’ve given away to children, 
or the tree house we took down, 
nails jammed into it dislodged. 
We sawed off the branches, 
brittle and precarious and leaning 
into our safe street. 

Its forgiveness stood so close to me. 
Touched me. 

The arborist wants to cut it down.  
But the bees, we say, 
and the branches that still sprout 
their thin green leaves, 
waving in the breeze. 

I do not know what to confess to it. 
Surely I long to age with so much grace, 
honey in my hollows, 
a question on my tongue 
that helps me listen to the wind. 

Kika Dorsey
Issue 12, March 2022

is a poet and fiction writer in Boulder, Colorado. Her books include the chapbook Beside Herself (Flutter Press, 2010) and three full-length collections: two from Word Tech Editions, Rust (2016) and Coming Up for Air (2018); and one from Pinyon Publishing, Occupied: Vienna is a Broken Man and Daughter of Hunger (2020), winner of the Colorado Authors’ League Award for best poetry collection. Her poems have been published in Freshwater, KYSO Flash, The Columbia Review, The Comstock Review, The Denver Quarterly, The Pennsylvania Literary Journal, and numerous other journals and books. Her work has been nominated five times for the Pushcart Prize.

An instructor of English at Front Range Community College, Ms. Dorsey also works as a writing coach and ghostwriter. In her free time, she swims miles in pools and runs and hikes in the open space of Colorado’s mountains and plains.

Author’s website: http://kikadorsey.com

 
 
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