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Black Walnut

Eli Mears

The black walnut is a silent void,

an altar bloodied

and pulled into the spirit that chopped gaps,

long wrinkled hardened bark,

yanking you in by the fingers into the nutcracker designed for divine fruit.


Alone on a rural Maryland hill where people

once prayed to immortals

like the black walnut

and died under the shredding of their chestnuts

who rotted from their uncaring vows

the black walnut too fickle to die, and echoing into you.

They told you it was bitter, strong, 

epochs twisted into a dendro,

a nut, a God you sensed the moment you laid eyes on it

like a child rubs her hands in old dust and senses the ground you felt your size.


Fruit advances and some say

it never ages long enough to enjoy

like grandparents

who could not face the blackness of an empty life,

who faded into flickering ghosts,

as they gazed upon the black walnut 

in the silent glory of drifting grass.

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