Written By:


A Poem

Gary Phillips

My father died and

I went down to pick his figs

Thinking to make a simple jam sweet

enough to absorb grief

Inside the humming tree – mid August

and hot enough to make snakes mad

I held a dancing

communion with yellow-jackets,

red wasps, midge flies,

bumble-bees, hornets, cow-killers;

working around the tree with

nimble, trembling fingers.

Did you know the great Bodhi tree was a fig?

That fig-milk dissolves warts?

That one can pray inside the circle of

a father’s ancient anger and

not be stung?