KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 11: Spring 2019
Poem: 185 words
Ekphrasis: DavenTree


by Donna Isaac
Read to me in the shade of the tree, 
away from heat, late afternoon malaise, 
a love story just true enough 
so I can believe in soft-sleeved arms, 
eyes that shine and melt beholding mine. 

If not about love, tell about gold 
in the mountains, cast in shadow, 
brave men and women not disconsolate 
or not too restless to pause, to sing, to dance, 
to celebrate, for example, a soaring raven swallowed 
by a dark canyon only to rise again 
on ribbons of air threaded between muted peaks. 

Those would be good in the telling. 

Your words hang and hover like hummingbirds 
sated with nectar, enriching the day, sweet 
like chocolates or figs upon my tongue, 
dripping like rubies from my ears. 

When I was young, my father or mother 
read me stories before sleep, 
tales of mischievous rabbits, blue ogres, 
kindly grandmothers, or flying kites, 
but always about love. 

Read to me again if only in my dreams 
of paper houses, wooden shoes, red pepper 
sunsets, yellow tigers, and muscled oxen 
while I lay upon your heart 
listening beneath a hush of boughs. 



—Semi-Finalist, KYSO Flash The DavenTree Writing Challenge

[The DavenTree] drawing by poet Steve Davenport


Donna Isaac
Issue 11, Spring 2019

is a poet and teaching artist who helps organize community readings in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Published work includes a poetry book, Footfalls (Pocahontas Press), a paean to her formative years growing up in the Appalachians; two chapbooks, Tommy (Red Dragonfly Press) and Holy Comforter (Red Bird Chapbooks); and work in journals, e.g., Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Perfume River, The Saint Paul Almanac, and others. Visit her online at:

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