Vicious Trees

by Mary A. Turzillo

Not the kind that wave menacing branches
in Walpurgis Night winds,

nor the type that worm their roots
into your drainage system, flooding your house,

these trees anaesthetize you with their blossom's fragrance
then grow fast enough to wrap twigs around your neck
so in the morning your wife finds your corpse yoked and strangled

or they prick you with paralyzing sap
and grow thorns (overnight)
into your legs, arms, trunk, even eyes,

trees that moan, take pity, take pity,
then turn into dryads and quicken your daughter,
making her mother to chairs, tables, oak benches,

or they whisper, just whisper,
how you should leave the forest to them,
to them and the dark moon and sky,
how you should die, just die.

Mary Turzillo's poetry collection, Your Cat & Other Space Aliens, just came out. Her "Mars Is no Place for Children" won a 1999 Nebula and her novel, An Old-Fashioned Martian Girl, was serialized in Analog. She has two previous poetry collections, Galileo's Blindness and Lawn Party. She is working on a novel, Heart's Journey, Mars Quest , and Dragon Soup, a collaboration with award-winning artist/writer Marge Simon. She has a son, Jack Brizzi, and lives with her husband, Geoff Landis. For her, pomegranates have it all: luscious scarlet juice and the power to change the seasons. You can find more about her at her website.

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