American Sycamore

did they forget
the vibration
of our throats
in the shade?

did they not delight
in my sister’s
climbing habits,
nor stretch their limbs
to lift her?

didn’t they
hear us
whispering secret
into peeling trunk,
breath passed
into the white
bark beneath?

didn’t we live
as a forest
& didn’t
we die
also the same,
our lives
mere material
for an other

we ran &
didn’t they
our brown bodies
with their own?

we swung &
didn’t they want
to offer us
to god
like the gifts we were?

November 19, 2020

Lisbeth White

A 2016 Pushcart prize nominee, Lisbeth White is an alumna of VONA, Bread Loaf Environmental Conference, Tin House and Callaloo Creative Writing workshops. Her poetry has appeared in Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, The Rumpus, Kweli, Blue Mountain Review, Apogee, the anthology Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, and elsewhere. A developmental editor and expressive arts therapist, she holds a dual BA in Creative Writing and Sociology as well as an MA in Counseling Psychology. She is currently working on an experimental hybrid nonfiction project about elemental medicine and archetypal mythology. You can find her musings on Instagram: @earthmaven.

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