It’s dusk in the alley behind the house.
You reach for the lamp with its sudden light
and react to the string of shadows breaking
against the back wall.
The dog comes in from the yard. She watches
you for a moment with her amber eyes,
yawns, then turns to go on with her life.
You have a mind to write poetry
about your neighbor’s pomegranate tree,
its harmony of twisted branches extending
through your wooden fence, how it terrifies you
when the lights are off, and the dog is in your bed.
You stand at your back door,
and wait for the last rays of light to disappear
behind the garden shed.
It happens soon enough. The golden
green shimmer of each leaf
pales without a stutter, and the trunk,
a monument of knotted wood and bark,
crouches under the weight of a another moon.
A pomegranate sways. There’s barely a breeze,
but it falls with a thud,
and you’re at your kitchen counter, fingers
trembling, the world already unhinged.
Cindy Maresic has an MFA from San Diego State University and her poetry has appeared in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and is forthcoming in an anthology titled Mapping Me: A Landscape of Women’s Stories, among others. She lives in San Diego, California, where she works as an elementary school teacher and is actively involved the district’s writing task force, oﬀering teacher training, and support. She is also working on a ﬁctional novel.