/ Poetry


This is a very old piece, written when I was in a dark place inside myself. Partly an investigation, and partly a purge of a piece of me I didn't want.

My knees hurt. I take root, suspending my walk.
The thought occurs, what the tree thinks of a blooming sapling.
Only hints with its dried leaves, silent as me.
He stares at the sapling's vibrant bark,
supple leaves,
green buds.

Some budded petals open for me, for the tree
There's the stigma — I melt the snow that nags me.
She smiles and I feel alive.

Just then
I spot a wolf wandering through the woods, far off my path
But still in sight.

I get up to walk away, but don't take a step.
For a moment longer I gaze at the sapling.
Then I scrutinize the old tree.
Is that my face painted in its knots?

I fall again, and bruises renew.
I clutch for someone,
a flower.
I reach out and touch her,
the flower,
gently, kindly, not at all invasively.
The flower leans in gracefully, instinctively,
without knowing why.
Its beauty lends a momentary comfort.
A warmth in this merciless cold.

But I remember my splintered skull,
and am stabbed by sights:
That wolf ripping its prey.
For some reason, it eats a child:
Too young to know danger,
old enough to satisfy a starving beast.

My knuckles whiten,
and I recoil my hands from the delicate little flower.
I could have crumpled it without even realizing,
without it knowing why,
without me seeing that my desperation
had nothing to do with those petals.

Already poised, I decide to pray.
Before the wolf gets to me.
Before I pluck this flower.

Nick Giampietro

Nick Giampietro

Nick graduated from Portland State University with a degree in Japanese Literature and a minor in English, and works as a Software Engineer in Portland. He lives with his wife, son, and dog-of-a-cat.

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