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A Long Way from Underground

“I am sorry I never grew my arms / long enough to wrap around”

Published onNov 20, 2019
A Long Way from Underground

By Stephen Roger Powers

Tropical Storm Irma uprooted the backyard
alligatorwood, which was too bad—

the tree had challenged the Cliffs of Moher
to see who could last longest.

I am sorry I never grew my arms
long enough to wrap around

its deep-ridged trunk.
The Georgia-red mud made the root base—

wider than I’m tall—
ugly as a monster’s maw

drooling the rain’s dregs.
I doubt the skeleton

it pulled out of the ground,
roots wrapped around the skull

and threaded through ribs,
would have remained buried.

Bones crave the air and light
of solved mysteries.

Stephen Roger Powers started writing poetry almost twenty years ago to pass time in the middle of the night when he was too energized to sleep after coming off the stage in comedy clubs around the Midwest. He is the author of three poetry collections published by Salmon Poetry in Ireland. He also has a collection of short stories forthcoming from Closet Skeleton Press.

Image: “Pier,” acrylic, 2014, Elaine Verdill

A long-time photographer and poet, Elaine Verdill also paints with acrylics. Her images can be found in such publications as Calyx, A Journal of Art and Literature for Women; Foliate Oak Literary Magazine and The Sonder Review.

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