Poetry: "Before the Trees" by Samir Knego

The trees out the back window aren’t

As green as they were Last summer

Less lush, more spindly

Branches--some broken-- That lean and twist Touching but somehow not quite

Together In any meaningful way


The cardinal Rests Where the smaller branches fan

Out and up

Male cardinals, like many birds

Are all about the flare For the dramatic-- All red and crests and attention

On display He seems to look

Imperiously At something in the distance

And I, distanced By glass, by attitude

Can only watch


The sun peeks through

The spaces between

The leaves

But, scattered like this

The sun stops being a star

And starts being a force

Fuzzy but bright It infuses, fragments, refuses


Reflects off of something

Possibly Itself. And keeps bathing

The trees out the back window

In its mist Of light


What I thought was A yellow egg Sat, trapped In a spiderweb at the top of a tree

And I thought it was A shame To have such a beautiful thing

Abandoned like that

But when I looked

Again I realized the yellow

Shape was only a leaf


It’s always the same, but it isn’t Spring becomes summer becomes fall becomes

Just a little bit different time this year Just a little bit hotter-cooler-weirder Just a little bit more erratic, a little

More forest fires, a little more flooding


The grasshopper standing On the other side of the window

Pane Has not moved in A while

It can’t be dead, Surely, it couldn’t stand like that

Without life in its limbs But I can’t bring myself to tap

On the glass to confirm Either way


Like lichen creep and stretch Out along a place of comfort I, too, am counting down the days

In blue and green

An expanse that feels as large As it does impossible So when we reach the end Of the world, I hope we appreciate

How far we’ve gone

Samir Knego edits for Decolonial Passage and has published poems, essays, and art in various journals and zines. He lives in North Carolina, USA with a bright green wheelchair and a little black dog. Find him on twitter/instagram @SamirKnego or at VeryDecaf.blogspot.com