Poetry | May 16, 2022
Tree of Life
Translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry
I was born in a field of grain and snapped my fingers.
White chalk crossed the green blackboard.
Dew set me on the ground.
I played with pearls.
Pastures leaned against my ear and the fields.
The stars sizzled.
Under a bridge I carved an inscription: I can’t read.
Factories were being washed with salt water.
Cherries were my soldiers.
I threw gloves into the thorns.
We ate fish with a golden bread knife.
In the chandelier above the table not all the candles were lit.
Mama played the piano.
I climbed on my father’s shoulders.
I stepped on white mushrooms, watching clouds of dust.
Through the room’s window I touched the branches.
If you are a student, faculty member, or staff member at an institution whose library subscribes to Project Muse, you can read this piece and the full archives of the Missouri Review for free. Check this list to see if your library is a Project Muse subscriber.
Want to read more?Subscribe Today
SEE THE ISSUE
May 17 2022
You Will Be Ready / Total Hysterectomy There will be days in this medical experience when you feel like you’re the only citizen of Pluto, landed right in the
May 16 2022
Tree of Life Translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry I was born in a field of grain and snapped my fingers. White chalk crossed the green blackboard. Dew
May 16 2022
Counterweight In the fall, the garden folds in on itself—grand stalk of kale on the ground like a wilted chandelier, still green tomatoes that missed their chance at red