Self-Portrait as an Albizia

(Falcataria moluccana)

by Emily A. Benton

It’s true, I will
grow anywhere.

My mother
could attest.

I’m not afraid
to uproot,

change jobs,
make friends

over cold brews
and brunch.

You wouldn’t
be the first

to call me
too assertive,

a neighborhood
bulldog,

a climb-to-
the-top-

know-it-all.
I want that

360° view
just like

anyone else.
Does it bring

you pleasure
to cut me

down, to trim
my heavy crown?

Watch me fall:
I’ll take the power

lines with me,
adapt to the saw,

then frame your
finest work

on a gallery wall.

 

Emily A. Benton is a poet, writer, and editor living in Honolulu. Her poems have appeared in journals such as Hayden’s Ferry Review, Radar Poetry, Harpur Palate, Hawai’i Review, and ZYZZYVA. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at UNC Greensboro and serves as an assistant poetry editor for storySouth (www.storysouth.com). More details at www.emilyabenton.com.

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