With Lines from “The Apple Trees at Olema” by Robert Hass
Shakes me by the raw, white, backlit flaring
of her lightning streaked hand. Fingers whip,
burn my veiny branches with white fire.
Her lashes reach from hollow sky,
bind my stick-like arms,
pulls until I’m left with bare trunk,
sap oozes from cylinder scars—
The only thing that strengthens
my black roots are the sunken scars,
bruised and bare flesh.
Her hand shreds my curled
leaves. I am stuck
in the center
of her whirlwind,
left over branches swarm
cover me, block her
sharp claws of lightning
from scratching bark from my face.
I stand alone, sticky with sap
as the sun’s harsh light burns
her white body until it becomes
crisp as my own. Her hand too
sensitive to touch another body,
her skin melts, squeezes her heart
into liquid that spills onto my now ripened cherries.
My roots stay loose in dirt,
branches curve, grow sideways.
Dirt clumps in parts of me,
inside crevices of teared off bark,
in hardened sap splotches,
but root tips remain clasped tightly,
holds me steady.
Jasmine King is a student studying creative writing. Her work has been awarded a Gold Key by
Scholastic Art and Writing, along with an honorable mention. She has been published in the June
2015 and April 2017 print issues of TeenInk. Residing in Jacksonville, she aspires to continue
her education in writing.