“I don’t want to be a tree, I want to be its meaning”
Orhan Pamuk, My Name Is Red,
Lois Marie Harrod

I want to be the greenness of the leaf
opening myself to wind

taking in the molecules that have warmed
the lambs and the mice

and turning them again to oxygen
that breath of fire.

I want to be the black branches
shining in the dull rain

the wild water splashing
on a boy and a girl standing against my trunk.

I don’t want to be a tree,
I want to be its meaning,

the deep search for water
in the dirt, the roots tonguing

down and down to the dark places
where death abounds.



Lois Marie Harrod’s 13th and 14th poetry collections, Fragments from the Biography of Nemesis (Cherry Grove Press) and the chapbook How Marlene Mae Longs for Truth (Dancing Girl Press) appeared in 2013. The Only Is won the 2012 Tennessee Chapbook Contest (Poems & Plays), and Brief Term, a collection of poems about teachers and teaching was published by Black Buzzard Press, 2011. Cosmogony won the 2010 Hazel Lipa Chapbook (Iowa State). She is widely published in literary journals and online ezines from American Poetry Review to Zone 3. She teaches Creative Writing at The College of New Jersey. Read her work on www.loismarieharrod.org.