KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 11: Spring 2019
Poem: 186 words
Ekphrasis: DavenTree

The Mother Tree, Germany 1860s

by Ellaraine Lockie
—After The DavenTree by Steve Davenport
From the ground beneath her, the words 
verfolgung, ein neues leben, Amerika 

Next the surgery with a shovel 
Her scream unheard by humans 

as the root that connected and fed 
her first-born rips away 

Morning, noon and night she sends prayers 
in the way trees do 

On fallen leaves that ride gusts of fall wind 
On the flurry of snowflakes 

In the beg of blossoms 
on the gentle sway of summer’s breeze 

But the seasons betray her year after year 
As she grows her grief through long branches 

in the reach to bring him back 
Wounds tattooing her bark 

People say the gnarled branches are grotesk 
One of nature’s twisted jokes 

They don’t know how those limbs are curled 
to cradle him in a mother’s love 

They can’t see her wooden heart slowly cracking 
under the weight of loss 

And she can’t see her sapling 
turned taller and thicker in middle age 

on a Montana farm homestead 
Or the gray-haired woman’s heart swell for home 



Author’s Note:

verfolgung: persecution
ein neues leben: a new life



—First Finalist, KYSO Flash The DavenTree Writing Challenge

[The DavenTree] drawing by poet Steve Davenport


Ellaraine Lockie
Issue 11, Spring 2019

is widely published and awarded as a poet, nonfiction book author, and essayist. Her forthcoming chapbook from Presa Press, Sex and Other Slapsticks, is her fourteenth chapbook. Earlier collections have won Poetry Forum’s Chapbook Contest Prize, San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival Chapbook Competition, Encircle Publications Chapbook Contest, Best Individual Poetry Collection Award from Purple Patch magazine in England Competition, and the Aurorean’s Chapbook Choice Award. Her poems have found their way onto broadsides, buses, rented cars, bicycles, cabins, greeting cards, key chains, bookmarks, mugs, coffee-sack labels, church bulletins, radio shows, and cable TV as well as into hundreds of national and international journals, magazines, and anthologies.

Ellaraine has received multiple Pushcart nominations and fellowship residencies from both Summer Literary Seminars and Centrum Literary Residencies. She teaches writing workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine Lilipoh.

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