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Things that will outlive me:


For better or worse: Polymer plastics; Seasoned cast iron;

Pine, Birch, and Oak; Pleiades: her sisters,

born together; Grandfather’s aluminum

canning pot sitting in the garage; Seasoned

mahogany and maple slabs; Our garage;

Juniper, hickory, and bonsai; Better and worse;

All kinds of evergreen; My body, name; Magenta

marker stain on beige ottoman;

Apple, cherry, peach; Bamboo; Better; These 195

words on SSD; Harmony of wind in leaves

and branches; Better; You; Clay cast and fired, brick,

teapot, ashtray; Worse; Matterhorn and Rainier;

Niagara and Angel; Angels ephemeral, ceramic;

Rust and yeast, things that eat;

Plastic plants, trees; Irony; Echo;

Both better and worse, simultaneous; Roots

after the tree; My roots; Willow and her vines, ropes,

dangling down for a swing; My childhood swinging;

The swingset torn down two years ago, blue slide

pelted by BBs, the monkey bars falling out their

posts; Facebook posts from the dead, still alive

online; Prints and paintings of me; The photograph

of me at 16, the tree in the backyard, split into 4 trunks,

chopped down, gone now, that I’m still sitting there,

where I outlive myself, though funny to call it living;

The trees, my love; the trees.

John Spiegel is a poet and teacher from Ohio where he lives with his wife and two daughters. He received his MFA from Miami University. He loves bonsai trees, cooking, and driving barefoot. His poetry, nonfiction, and reviews can be read in Fence Digital, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Milk & Cake Press, Trouvaille Review, and others. His first book is due to be published by Finishing Line Press in October.

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