No great oak when shedding leaves, I’m losing petals quickly.
Not mites, not snails, nor even fungi; spots have grown where
Xylem stream, where tracheids work, where life’s excitement
When subcutaneous tissue’s harvested, furrows are left behind,
Exposing blood, fat, nerves, deep follicles. Cutting away pieces
Of any integumentary system causes unnatural divots, likewise
Hair, skin, feathers, nails ought to deflect harm, ward off evil,
Elsewise armor against injurious cells. Yet hooves can falter
Confronting malignancies. Prayers, good intentions, families
KJ Hannah Greenberg has been playing with words for an awfully long time. Initially a rhetoric professor and a National Endowment for the Humanities Scholar, she shed her academic laurels to romp around with a prickle of imaginary hedgehogs.
Thereafter, she’s been nominated once for a PEN/America award in nonfiction, once for a Pushcart Prize in Literature for fiction, and three times for a Pushcart Prize in Literature in poetry. To boot, Hannah’s had more than thirty of her books published, and has served as an editor for several literary journals.