Shagbark Hickories by Joan Colby


Unkempt as women at the edge

Of patience, wringing rough hands

In aprons of home-made sorrow.

Their teardrops large and green

With a hidden core of remonstration.

How they came to accept

What was unendurable.

Harsh as an east wind

And yet they stand

Renowned for toughness

As if that could be a consolation

Like the lie that what doesn’t kill you

Is a blessing.

About the contributor

Joan Colby’s Selected Poems received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize and Ribcage was awarded the 2015 Kithara Book Prize. Her recent books include Her Heartsongs from Presa Press, Joyriding to Nightfall from FutureCycle Press, Elements from Presa Press .and Bony Old Folks from Cyberwit Press. She has another book forthcoming from The Poetry Box Select series titled The Kingdom of the Birds which should be out next August

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  1. Concentrated, like distilled bitters to make the cocktail of life go down with a bit more character made from a vine on a crag or blustery cliff.


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