KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 11: Spring 2019
Poem: 152 words
Ekphrasis: DavenTree

Daven Tree Emerging

by Sam Wright
Out of shadow, out of night, out of 
dreams uterine, a black and gray Earth Mother 
emerges from the indistinct, drawn to an outcry of light. 

Call it a tree if you will: gnarly branches, trunk, crown, 
vermiculated bark. But I see woman, skin swarming, 
open-armed, life-affirming, hard-headed too, by necessity. 
She: a figure of entwining grace, a psalm to limbs and fecundity. 

She was there, is there, will be there: 
there beyond history; there waiting in fertile fields; 
there forever the pulse beneath the breast plate. 

Once she touched us all; 
some, perforce, she cast away for refashioning. 

She is dark as fertile soil, 
born of dust, a cosmic matrix. 

To remind us, she leaves her mark: 
belly-button, navel, umbilicus—
a scar forged in utero. 

Known instinctively by scent and touch, her breasts and arms, 
though mere shadows to the newborn babe, 
are summoned by fierce needy cries.



—Semi-Finalist, KYSO Flash The DavenTree Writing Challenge

[The DavenTree] drawing by poet Steve Davenport


Sam Wright
Issue 11, Spring 2019

is the penname of Lee Alfred Wright, author of Identity, Family, and Folklore in African-American Literature. He received his doctorate in American Literature from the University of Toledo, and then taught high school English for thirteen years. His most recent publications include two ekphrastic poems in A Rustling and Waking Within (OPA Press, 2017), as well as poems in Common Threads (2016 and 2017) and prize-winning poems in Toledo City Paper’s recent annual poetry contest. With two young grandchildren in his life, things have never been better.

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