Poetry Fiction Issue

Rue Family

April makes no difference
to the Lavalle cork tree
imported from central Japan;

to the Sakhalin cork,
its diamond bark
rising into branches

from a trunk of plated sand.
In the city park, this family of trees
wears its rue as buds

traveled into leaf each year—
predictably, invisibly,
as your sister wears hers

on a South Dakota highway:
there behind her knee, tempering
the air above her hand.

Christina Pugh’s latest collection is Rotary (2003). She teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
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