Unable to See Our Way Clear

by Jim Tilley

A nearly symmetric tree, spilling
its leaves like a fountain
by the pool, the weeping cherry
appears the same from all angles
in daytime, left side indistinguishable
from the right, but not at night, one half
yellowish, ground-lit by incandescent
bulb, the other bright white, an LED,
the contrast then as stark as in
the aftermath of the latest deaths
by gunfire, when we find ourselves
once again split in two, unable to see
our way clear to turning off the lights
and waiting for the sun to rise.


Jim Tilley has published three full-length collections of poetry (In Confidence, Cruising at Sixty to Seventy, Lessons from Summer Camp) and a novel (Against the Wind) with Red Hen Press. His short memoir, The Elegant Solution, was published as a Ploughshares Solo. He has won Sycamore Review’s Wabash Prize for Poetry. Four of his poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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