Art by Sonal Jadhav
This poem explores the loss of adolescence through the metaphor of the laburnum tree: a plant notable for its long stocks of golden beads that contain poison. It tracks two children who grow through their time under this tree. The end sees one child die from its poison. Just as there is much beauty to this life, we all come to understand its layers through experience, pain, and time.
The sweet gifts of the laburnum,
Hold dewy honey seeds,
Like soft, clean pearls that bathe with moonlight,
And sweet, white sycamore pods, bitter juice.
“Tug at the firm end”, your pool of whispers,
Spreading the warm sun-dusted tears,
Over the river-bend tracing circular footprints,
Making the memories that ache, thinking of young years.
The times were sweet and the sapling,
Yawned and stretched over the long, resting fields,
With golden grass like honey hair,
Citrus light cutting shadow dances through the blades.
We counted stars like teal sunsets,
Down with sack lunches on the creek,
Wax paper crinkles breaking the steady heartbeat,
Of the stream kicked up by the moss and rocks.
Rusted, tan skin that felt ease,
Under the lulling wide eyes of the dark water,
Stream carrying laburnum sorrows in slumber,
Rushing like green, tin bugs kicking up soil.
These days love quickly,
With sparkling gold sapphire seeds and,
Amber turned beautiful by long years of weeping,
Tall, molasses tears.
He rested in my arms and later,
Danced down the river with the weeping, his tongue,
Throbbed in red regret, yellow earthy pill,
Children dazed with glittering jewels of poison.
Celine Dipp is a poet, student, and filmmaker from Texas. Numerous poems of hers have been published in both the Heartland Poetry Collection and Lapsus Calami Literary Magazine.