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The Green Line

Planted here as we are, see how we want to bow

and sway with the motion of earth in sky.

Feel how desire vibrates within us as our branches

fan out, promise entanglements, rarely touch.

Hear our sweet rustlings. If only we could know

how twisted up our roots are, we might make

vast shelter together—cooler places, verdant spaces,

more sustaining air. But we are strange trees,

reluctant in this forest—we oak and ash, we pine—

the same the same not different. All of us

reach toward star and cloud, all of us want

our share of light, just enough rainfall.

Poem: MICHAEL KLEBER-DIGGS is a poet and essayist. He lives in Saint Paul with his wife, Karen, who makes art with flowers, and their daughter, an accomplished dancer. He is the author of Worldly Things, which was awarded the 2020 Max Ritvo Poetry Prize. He was born and raised in Kansas and now lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. His work has appeared in Lit Hub, the Rumpus, Rain Taxi, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Water~Stone Review, Midway Review, North Dakota Quarterly and a few anthologies. Michael teaches poetry and creative non-fiction through the Minnesota Prison Writers Workshop.

Art: ELLEN LARSEN is an artist who likes to challenge herself to express value using color. She is inspired by form, figure, cars, buildings, horizons, color, everyday objects, light, and shadow. Viewers have commented that the subjects she paints, whether inanimate or “live,” are able to convey as well as evoke emotion.


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