Poems & Essays

29 Jun

How to Deal with Rejection

General/Column One Response

If you snap the branch of a pine tree, it never grows back.
So I worry about that as they climb
the neighbor’s evergreen, hurling
airplanes at his daffodils. With heavy shovels,
I till the garden. Each shoulder swivel, twist and heave aches.
Our neighbor stops tending his bees, asks the boys to leave,
to retrieve their styrofoam wings,
edges dipped like petals. Trading flight for spades,
digging hard packed clay for fossils, dead remains.
Singing, flinging dirt over the gate, making up a chorus,
painting over pine branches
in rough-hewn brushstrokes like Gauguin. Flat lands blasted
with violent color, untamed and pure, everything else
sacrificed. Never cleaning the palette, just mixing
fresh hues on top of what is already dried.

Matthew Miller teaches social studies, swings tennis rackets, and writes poetry – all hoping to create a home. He lives beside a dilapidating apple orchard in Indiana, and tries to shape the dead trees into playhouses for his four boys. His poetry has been published in The Flying Island, PAN-O-PLY and Your Daily Poem.

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1 Comment

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  1. Right bin

    June 30, 2020 at 12:29 am

    Yes! It reminds me of the dad to day of raising kids and wanting them to spread their wings but also to teach social graces!


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