Useless

An ornamental
lemon tree in the hallway
of my childhood home.

It hummed to itself.
Was it then I discovered
the misery of

happiness in my
self, as mystic thinkers use?
Ashen bark, bright leaves,

inedible glow
of half-hidden toy lemons!
I’d watch it daring

it to grow and yes
discovering the peace of
art in its absence.

Author: Tom D'Evelyn

Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Portland OR and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. He can be reached at tom.develyn@comcast.net. D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at http://tdevelyn.com and other sites.

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