in the rain in the autumn when a new life has taken root in the husk of ancestry

i spend my days reading letters scrawled on brick left behind by my mother’s dreaming


        the ginkgoes of philadelphia were planted with high hopes

        higher fruit heavy on limb rotting in place attracting

       cider-hungry binging insects paid up front to covet

       seeds across state lines to lantern-lit crop circles fertile with patience 


in the inane moments taken hold in innocuous towers the maidenhair unfurls

and i refuse to leave this place the same and i refuse to leave this place the same


      the ginkgoes of philadelphia a solitary order refute consolidation

      deemed a mistake by the city a mistake of their own greed

      my mother’s shade in the heat of misplaced anger

      a mistake felled in memory

      thunder as each berry lands


in the leaves brushed beside the curbs exploding out from gutters

i see moths stretched wide and eyes unblinking and the river as it meets the sea


    and i am my mother humming softly

    tracing cracks in the sidewalk

    ants to their burrows

    blades of grass to the embrace of earth

    their roots wound and wound again

    in the dirt beneath

    the ginkgoes of philadelphia


in migrations to come

in the dreamless nights

under soundless skies

i am my mother heavy on limb


Artwork by: Alfred Brehm