Kathleen Lohr

When the wild mouths
of first love promise
the willow listens.

The earth tastes of silence
and grey swings creak
on butter-soft porches
phrases sway
then fall like feathers
and the willow listens.

While babies smell of jazz
their cries like small mice
in the jasmine silvered nights
and the lights surrounded by moths
whose wings flutter
uncertain on the edges of black
the willow listens.

Inside bricked rooms
when grampa lays
aside his coffee spoon
because the moon is made
of blue cheese
not green
the willow listens.

Sides are chosen
no matter which
it’s the spirit of the thing
and still the willow
with its branches bent
the tips brushing the grass
like loving brooms
listens, listens.

As time is laid aside
like pine cones
that roll on empty roofs
over evening shutters
or morning lace
when the children say
see, see the willow tree
the willow still listens
and weeps.


Kathleen Lohr is a Los Angeles based poet and screenwriter whose work has appeared in local and regional literary magazines including: The Moment, Red Dancefloor Press, For the Lives of Us, Dance of the Iguana, Blue Satellite, 50%, Poetry Motel, Shelia na Gig and Chiron Review.

This poem first appeared in Tree Stories: A Collection of Extraordinary Encounters, edited by Warren David Jacobs and Karen I. Shragg, Hygeine, Co: Sunshine Press, Hygeine, CO. (2002)