In the tree there is a boy, thin
and sturdy, mud smeared, smiling,
big, gapped teeth white among
the purple branch buds in April dusk.
His legs cling to the oatmeal bark, making
blossoms bounce. Upside down,
far enough above the petaled grass
to bring his mother running,
maroon slippers fall from her feet.
She begs and he laughs;
he is not coming down,
this boy who knows
how much she needs his love,
steely, stormy, full of fire, but still
love, the kind that hurts
when it is missing.
Anne Hunley Trisler is a writer, mother, and Fundraising Event Coordinator for a non-profit in Knoxville, Tennessee. Through the University of Tennessee, she won the Margaret Artley Woodruff Award for Creative Writing for her poetry and received an Eleanora Burke Award for Nonfiction. Her work has appeared on Mothering.com and in Struggle, Barbaric Yawp, and The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review.