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Chicagoetry: Black Tupelo

Black Tupelo
After W.H. Auden

Now is the winter.
I took you for granted,
Black tupelo,

Grand in the yard,
Grand in the parkway,
Grand in the autumn:

Dying leaves
For a fortnight
A beacon

Of bold crimson,

Like a ruby-strewn
Chandelier, or a Chinese fan
Of blood-red tears.

Now sullen, brittle and bare.
I took you for granted.
Now my shadow pales

Next to yours.
Ten years ago
I'd sit in one of the dives

Of Division Street,
Uncertain and afraid
As clever hopes expired

And romantic lies
Of authority
Grew tired.

Those were different times.
Now I brood upon convention
From the furniture of home.

But no Now
Is Ever-Now
And I know,

Black tupelo,

You'll bloom again.
In the mean,
I must endure,

And though beleaguered
Must project
An affirming flame.

I shall will
My shadow
To burn bold crimson,

To be a point of light,
A beacon in the night,
A voice (all I have!)

Resolute against the lies.

We must love one another
Or die.


J.J. Tindall is the Beachwood's poet-in-residence. He welcomes your comments. Chicagoetry is an exclusive Beachwood collection-in-progress.


More Tindall:

* Chicagoetry: The Book

* Ready To Rock: The Music

* Kindled Tindall: The Novel

* The Viral Video: The Match Game Dance


Posted on November 14, 2016

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