Tree of Life

This poem is frantic. It’s about your
Mother. It’s about looking for your
Mother. This poem—its subject, the
Interior of your mother’s eye, its subject,
Blindness, its subject, pain—should move
Quickly. Put its point in parenthesis,
Squeeze it. (The retina looks like a
Large abstract painting of the color
Orange.) “The retina,” the technician has
Said, pointing out what looks like an
Orange wall streaked with yellow and
Red. “The retina is overlaid
With blood vessels. The optic
Nerve threads through it, making a ‘u’
Shape. The optic nerve cups.” Here are
Several ways to deal with pain: Compare
It, view it poetically, jazz it up, look at
It from a distance. Metaphorically
Speaking, the optic nerve looks like a
Candelabra, a vase, or a tree. Looked at
From the side, this part of your
Mother—the optic nerve—is the Tree of
Life. Looking from an airplane, you see
Yourself standing below its red leafy
Branches. The wind blows. Its leaves stroke
The October evening. You are looking for
Your mother. She cannot see you. This is a poem about pain.
You are looking for your mother. And you do not find her.

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Zac Davis
2 months ago

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