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Lorraine Lynch Geiger

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Illusion of A Forest
by Lorraine Lynch Geiger

Thursday, August 15, 2002

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Illusion of A Forest

Here on this street where children run barefoot
on white-hot cement and play on steel-vined swings
there are no trees
except for this golden rain tree
whose blooms imitate the turning of leaves
green to yellow to peach it shames these pastels on stucco

I walk where iron fences encompass concrete yards
where vinyl geraniums in window boxes
fade under a southern October sun
where passing clouds offer temporary parasols
and then rush on to other neighborhoods

along the sidewalk rows of lamp posts
plant themselves between the brick
I imagine them golden rain trees
brilliant along my path
they bend to feast on fumes
greet me with cleansed offerings
exchange their breaths for mine

I blink into existence a broad-bellied chinaberry
full and ready it spreads seed across crib-like yards
watches for births of forests
I step beyond mortar and brick onto sand
and clay loosened by roots of oak
ancient oak in an ancient forest

sung into creation by a ruby-throated hummer
a slant pine rings itself under ageless bark
as trumpet creeper vines inch across lichens on its trunk
and needles driven by a distant wind fall across my face

this timeless forest is mine
I blend into it
become each leaf each bloom each warble of sound

sound that rolls and intensifies until it blasts into my world
crashing down upon every branch every wing
it scatters my forest transforms it back into stucco
lamp posts the cries of children
blasts of horns shatter my world leaving me
with iron fences and white-hot reality

I turn back to the golden raintree
seek the shade of its swollen branches
and search the ground for seed.

First Place
Florida State Poets Association Cat #2 2002
Published: Torch magazine - Third Place 2001

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