KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 11: Spring 2019
Poem: 106 words
Ekphrasis: DavenTree

Origin, Poison, Honey

by Stacey Balkun
after Steve Davenport
There was a tree.
I looked up until my neck hurt.
I read about this:

making a bed of pine needles,
keeping milk cold in the creek.
It was like I was born

there, gnarled roots
and soil sodden with runoff
from the Bakelite factory

upstream. For so long, 
the story molded
honeycomb from the soft wax

of my memory, a pattern 
repeating and each year 
like a new groove in a record,

a body torqued to reach
the lowest branch still
stretched overhead a wide crown

that held so many stories
but which had even an acorn of truth?



—Fourth Finalist, KYSO Flash The DavenTree Writing Challenge

[The DavenTree] drawing by poet Steve Davenport


Stacey Balkun
Issue 11, Spring 2019

is the author of Eppur Si Muove, Jackalope-Girl Learns to Speak, and Lost City Museum. Winner of the 2017 Women’s National Book Association Poetry Prize, her work has appeared in Best New Poets 2018, Crab Orchard Review, The Rumpus, and other anthologies and journals. Chapbook Series Editor for Sundress Publications, Stacey holds an MFA from Fresno State and teaches poetry online at The Poetry Barn and The Loft literary center. Visit her online at:

Site contains text, proprietary computer code,
and graphic images that are protected by:

⚡   Many thanks for taking time to report broken links to: KYSOWebmaster [at] gmail [dot] com   ⚡