By Hannah VanderHart (art by Susannah Jordan)
is a claim about how little I know.
I read a glossary of forestry terms
and know only several. In fact, I
would have failed an elementary
diagram or tree quiz this morning.
I could not name three parts. I would start
with the roots, and then label the trunk.
I would label the bark, although
that’s not one of the three main parts.
Or maybe the leaves, so many peacock eyes.
I would not be able to name the top:
the crown, the beauty. I’m an Eve anyway.
In Milton she keeps her eyes to the ground,
names the flowers she spies growing there.
I would call the crown the canopy,
erroneously. I wouldn’t think about
the rain forests, their several levels
of canopy ascending through the moist
and flowering air. These things
are above me, and I do not look up.
Hannah VanderHart lives and teaches in Durham, NC. She has her MFA from GMU and is currently at Duke University writing her dissertation on gender and collaboration poetics in the seventeenth century. More at: hannahvanderhart.com.
(Artist) Susannah Jordan earned an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Queens University of Charlotte. Her flash fiction and poetry have appeared in Daphne Magazine, Twisted Sister, 50-Word Stories, Tiny Text, and Apocrypha and Abstractions. Her artwork and photography have appeared in Gravel, The Tishman Review, Oxford Magazine, Figroot Press, Riggwelter Press, and Calamus Journal. She has work forthcoming in formercactus, Rathalla Review, and Orson’s Review.
Artist's Statement, "Apricity", digital photo art:
I’m obsessed with trees. There, I said it. I photograph all sorts of things, but trees and nature top the list. In the winter you can find me wandering around outside, snapping pictures of snow-covered tree limbs. In the spring my attention turns to the flowers. When I’m not tiptoeing through the tulips you can find me puttering around art museums, where statuary tends to grabs my eye. I hope to keep taking photos until my hands are too shaky to hold a camera. There’s a whole world of trees I haven’t seen yet.