The Girl Who Hangs Poems from Trees

The secret to doing something strange and silly is to simply act as though it is absolutely normal.  And that is exactly what I did.

“Dude, chill.  It’s OKAY.  I have my SUNFLOWER MUG.  I got this.”

People may stop you, may ask, but not often.  They will look.  Depending on your aims, this is a good thing.  That means they’re paying attention.  Even better, it means you’re paying attention.  Noticing their noticing is important.  Noticing anything is important.

“I am not the empty sky.  I am nothing to be filled.  I am the negative space.  I will hold my own.”

Maybe it was a stupid idea.  42 short poems, scrawled on what amount to sticky-notes, and then lacquered with Mod-Podge.  I just needed a tree to hang them from.  So I went scouting.  On Halloween night of all nights, when I should have been at home, a remembrance ritual waiting, the names of aunts and and uncles and grandparents gone heavy on my tongue.  But this seemed important, too.

“Hope is brittle, but at least it’s warm.  And it’s all I have in my pocket.”

 Himmarshee Street was packed with bodies, all costumed.  I didn’t have to ask “Where’s Waldo?” because there were five of him.  There were sexy angels and sexy devils and a sexy Raggedy Ann.  None of them commented as I crossed the street and began hanging the poems.  No one said anything.

“Every misstep, every fight, every door slam: I did it by the book.  I EARNED this heartbreak.”

Emboldened, I took my time, placing each one where it looked best, filling out the trunk like a Christmas tree with ornaments.  Not a word was spoken.  My compatriot documented each step, snapping photos as I worked, until the work was done.

“While transplanting the pomegranates, I realized I was no longer a transplant myself, but a native of nowhere.”

And since there were no cats, and our task was done, we mice scampered off to play in the dark, drinking down cider, and watching drunk folk dance.

“Honestly, there aren’t any answers.  We’re just making them up as we go.”
We didn’t stay long.  There were other things yet to accomplish.  There were the dead still to honor, and a year’s worth of grief to pour out.

“If you take the whiskey & I take the gin, tomorrow the sun will fear to rise.”

After I got home, slinking up the stairs, I sat back.  Time to move on.  Small things done are in the past.  My poems were out there somewhere, dew-soaked, a-flutter.  But they were off now, living things themselves on an adventure of their own.  Down, then, to the business of ritual.  Persephone would know, I drank a shot of gin in honor of the dead, and a shot of whiskey in honor of the living.

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