Bodies after you cut down the dead trees the field yawns and gives for the first time in twenty years a glimpse of red beyond the shuddering loblollies—decaying metal and wood teeth the remains of man’s work no life except a gray body shell of hollow skin we count the bands six, no, seven marvel at the armor left behind never seen one walking only knew its afterlife we trudge homeward talking of terrace gardens what we could do with all this nakedness, till you meet the skeleton of that copse of pines which once harbored your cage-eyed calico who, startled by noise, jumped from the deck and cowered there that night flashlight in hand you found her in the needles and brought her inside.
Diane Callahan strives to capture her sliver of the universe through writing fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. As a developmental editor and ghostplotter, she spends her days shaping stories. Her YouTube channel, Quotidian Writer, provides practical tips for aspiring authors. You can read her poetry in The Hellebore, The Sunlight Press, semicolon, Vita Brevis, The Interpreter’s House, Rust+Moth, and Kissing Dynamite, among others.
[image: Dcrjsr | Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), bark on trunk of mature tree]