Generations of Leaves | Taylor Graham

All children are death, the leaves whisper.
Spring leaves, almost too green.
The child runs out before dawn
while his parents lie in their sweet 
dough of sheets, their sugar and yeast.
He runs out of the aftertaste of love
to taste the entire garden. Apples and
black-limned snakes. He wishes
to name everything. But the sky
eludes him, slips through any fingers,
he can’t touch it with his tongue.
In the upstairs bedroom his mother stirs,
her child’s name a black seed on her lips.
His father makes a fist in sleep,
he dreams a leafless stick to be driven
six feet into the ground. Already
the child is whittling a father’s name
on the crosspiece.

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Contrary ® is a registered trademark of Contrary Magazine
The Figure of Authority | Thomas King
What Mary Did | Sarah Layden
Tithonus | C.E. Chaffin
Homecoming | Patrick Reichard
How You Remember Her | Amy Reed
The Night of the Iguana | Derek Pollard
Generations of Leaves | Taylor Graham
Three Poems | Patrick Loafman

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commentary | poetry | fiction | chicago | summer 2007