I Think That I Shall Never See...

Illustrated Guide to Familiar American Trees

by Charlie Smith

I don't get it about the natural world.
Like, greenery,
without people in it, is supposed to do what?

City sunlight, I say, how can you beat it—
the walk to the pool after work, shine
caught in the shopkeeper's visor, bursts.

I see myself moving around New York,
snapping my fingers, eating fries.

My ex-wife's out in California.

I wish she was over on Bank Street,
up on the second floor,
and I was on the way there
to call to her from the sidewalk.

There's a cypress on that block, two honey
locusts and an oak. I love those trees
like my own brothers.


  1. Wow! Love the nature/human connection....been craving a bit of outside myself lately....thanks for visiting! smiles

  2. I love that! I once rented a house in an old neighborhood in Salem. It had a huge Catalpa tree in the front yard that I "loved like a brother." Was alone one New Year's Eve, which was quite ok because at midnight I went to the front yard and kissed the Catalpa.

  3. I've always felt a bit guilty about the fact that I could take nature or leave it, as long as I had a good book. So, thanks for making me feel "normal."


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