Original illustration by Anne Le Guern


         miscarriage 9/24/2021

A cheap print of an aspen grove
In the exam room — it’s not bad,
Cross-lines of bark, long straight lines for the trunks,
Brown and black and gold in the foreground,
Receding to white in the back — the farthest trees, then,
Just a line or two, a white line suggesting
The whole tree.
If I were teaching, say, a child, say
You, I could tell you that it’s called
Abstraction, the line suggests the tree but isn’t,
See the shapes the lines make in your head and it’s a tree
But also isn’t, faint and fainter. But if
You and I were in a forest, if we were in a birch forest in the snow,
Then it’d be a tree and still a tree, a real tree, even if it was so far away we couldn’t see it,
So far so white against the terrible white cold, a tree, a real tree
Just so small and white against the snow it disappeared.

Lindsay Turner

Lindsay Turner is the author of the poetry collections The Upstate (University of Chicago Press, 2023) and Songs & Ballads (Prelude Books, 2018). She is also the translator of several books of contemporary poetry and philosophy from the French. Originally from northeast Tennessee, she lives in Cleveland and teaches English and Creative Writing at Case Western Reserve University.