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No Pine Tree in This Forest is Perfect

by Ellen Goldsmith

1997, 29 pages

Winner of the 1997 Sapering Hol Press Chapbook Competition.

"Backstage "

I remember how I used to feel
about the tracery of branches
how I saw fullness, appreciated new views
the river visible beyond the barn
This fall the wind finds its way
beneath my collar, despite my scarf
and I wonder if the leaves
are ready to fall
if the tree is ready to lose them

I go to a healing group now
leave the radio on all night
to help me through the dreams
waiting in cages since surgery

Once at the circus my father and I left early
We walked away from the dancing horses
rolling clowns, cotton candy
Backstage the animals' cages were empty
the doors opened wide
and the acrobats sat in a circle playing cards


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Audio Sample:

As read by the author,
Ellen Goldsmith


About the Author:

Ellen Goldsmith

Praise For
No Pine Tree in This Forest is Perfect

"Her incandescent collection explores a world of terrifying contingency, through the focus of breast cancer."

—Dennis Nurkse

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