Deb Asks Me What I Think Of Ichter’s Trees

This morning, in the very early morning,

I ribboned through the Allegheny foothills aboard

an eastbound train, where I first saw the trees,

the closest trees to Ichter’s trees that I have ever seen.

These trees that postured upward

were hopeful, lean, and tall in the mist of a

Pennsylvania hillside,

in the midst of a hundred other trees that

were much more squat and half again as round-

happy with themselves just to root and make do.

I thought of the Ichter trees and the who

of  he that drew them, wondering if the child he once was

fashioned trees like these

and pinned them on the school hall wall

next to those of his classmates-

with the little round figures of

people-potatoes with legs,

and the requisite yellow sun,

burning bright with the hope for a bigger role

in the upper left hand corner of

the crinkled Big Chief page.

It’s hard to breathe on a moving train

with trees like these around and reaching

high on a Pennsylvania hillside

toward a lacustrine sky–

especially as the train moves on and

the trees give way to the stone remains

of Someone’s former home,

crumbling its grief around the remaining foundation.

Maybe one day in a long way later

I will tell Mr. Ichter about the

willows I grew up with,

whose branches lifted me dry

across creek beds on the way to the

train tracks that cut through Lucerne,

past the chert rock roads

and the beanfields and the Red Brush

water rushing someplace else.



5 Responses to “Deb Asks Me What I Think Of Ichter’s Trees”

  1. Anonymous Says:


  2. I love the way you turn nouns like ribbon and posture into verbs, finding their action.

    Is Ichter this Ichter? I did a search to better understand, and voila! trees! Well-postured ones, in fact.

  3. good read AND you’re education me — had to head to google more than once 🙂

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