Just off a country road a balding tire
Reclines in spring upon a pinkish spray
Of dogwood, which on any better day
Supports, at least in poems, a “feathered choir,”
Or, worse, that “lifts to God its fair attire,”
But now bends low in sullen disarray,
The black ring crushing the sweet display —
Rubber canceling that which should inspire.
But why? Was this despoiler thus bestowing
His contempt upon Joyce Kilmer’s stance?
Or is it fair to say that he was showing
A vague and drear suspicion, quickly growing,
That blossoms are aberrant happenstance,
Like you and me and him who did the throwing?
Published with permission of Midwest Poetry Review, 2001, winner of $100 first place.