Lynne Kemen

Like a Sycamore

They all had a reason.
Excuses or lists of why.
Butterscotch balls mouthed,
clicking against their teeth,
tangled against their lying tongues.
Like a sycamore,
the roundness of honed hip-hop,
singing their internal songs.
Some sang a song of exasperation,
deliberately sang sotto voce,
but various words sprang out
in clumps, like a sycamore.
Give it to Jesus. I don’t care.
Humming like the rattling blossom
of a sycamore. You call it
an English Elm but it was just
a sycamore.
Common, stolid, deep roots
staunchly grounded.
I grind my teeth, too exasperated
to listen–
words rustling in the wind.


Lynne Kemen lives in Upstate New York. Her chapbook, More Than A Handful, was published in 2020. She has published or has forthcoming poems in La Presa, Silver Birch Press, The RavensPerch, Fresh Words Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, and The Blue Mountain Review. She is an Editor for The Blue Mountain Review and The Southern Collective Experience (SCE), both in Atlanta, GA. Her book of poetry, Shoes for Lucy, will be published in 2023 by SCE. She is on the Board of Bright Hill Press in Treadwell, NY. Website: https://lynnekemen.comhttps; Twitter: @psychadvise; Instagram: lynnekemen