Leaves, Trees, Sycamore Bark

by | Feb 6, 2019 | Poetry

Everything about a tree
comes apart,
smoke-scented acorns
rattle the ground,
leaves relinquish their green,
every richness is pinched off
in faith that it will
rise again.

I don’t understand that.
Not the pinching.
Not the rising.

The sycamore has
bark so hard that
it cannot stretch
with the growing tree
so it peels off.
The bark underneath
looks smooth and pink
and fresh, but I’ve
run my palm over it
and the cracks are
already there.
I mulched the leaves
and swept up the
flakes curled along
the sidewalk and I
sat on the short steps
in the inevitable evening
where I am also
letting summer go.

Leaves, Trees, Sycamore Bark by Rita Chapman

Photo used under CC.

About The Author


Rita Rouvalis Chapman’s poetry has appeared most recently in Sheila-Na-Gig, Mortar, The Connecticut River Review, and the anthology 56 Days of August. She is a student in the MFA program at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, and teaches high school English.