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Featured Poem • October 2017

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Baucis and Philemon

 

Trent Walters

 
 

Two willows lean over the lake, encumbered with age. Their limbs stretch, dip for a drink. They sigh when the wind shakes their leaves to fall, spiral, tumble. Once boys had broken branches to arm imaginary regiments; girls weighed the trees down with tiring swings and songs. Now the trees’ greens burn red to yellow to gold, to brown, to dust. The limbs creak, how they ache, how they twist against the mind’s will. The mind calls, but the body does not respond. The rings of wood circle like lines of historical topography; toll flood, fire, and drought; count the trunks’ gradual lean towards the other. Twigs crack, splinter, and bark is shed in the long, slow reach for unity.

 

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Trent Walters has had poems in Asimov’s, Pedestal, and Typehouse. Others are forthcoming in Lune, Mythic Circle, and Menacing Hedge, among others. A chapbook, Learning the Ropes, appeared through Morpo Press.

He writes, “‘Baucis and Philemon’ depicts my favorite of Ovid’s Metamorphoses: that uncommon pinnacle: the painful paradox which underlies relationships, which I leave to readers to uncover.”

 

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