top of page

In May in May

the tips of trees on Ashland burst

a soft green of new life.

a man a few paces ahead

tosses a cigarette pack to the grass.

i pick it up


that’s nice of you, says May

is a bystander not responsible? i ask.

maybe i am a traitor of the species;

i can’t help but to empathize,

watching weeds wage war on the sidewalk.

don’t we all want to crack the cement

that dares to seal us from the sunshine?

on the farm, when weeding,

May breaks down the leaves & roots &

returns them to the soil. what it was

once destroying, the plant feeds.

clouds pass & petrichor settles into my nostrils.

this is how the plants know

to dig their roots deeper & find water.

a whole language of smells & electromagnetic signals

& i think of the sad & how it is okay.

& the wind shakes these leaves.

& some leaves leave with the seeds.

May asks, do trees mourn?

i look up, they must . . .

or what is a weeping willow?

when a tree falls in the forest,

& there are no humans to hear all the other plants notice.

Poem: CHAVAH GABRIELLE is Saint Paul’s youth poet laureate. A literary and performance artist, chavah is a modern aromantic romantic poet. While striving to create spaces of equity and kindness, especially for queer and femme persons of color, chavah actively focuses on radical intimacy, Blackness, celestial bodies, and earth. Through a life emphasis on coffee, gratitude, and other people’s winter sweaters, chavah seeks sustainability.


bottom of page