Between Boughs

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“Between Boughs” 

Between the driveway
and kitchen window
the camphor tree stretches
its wings to heaven. There
between boughs hangs a trio
of hammocks. “A big-boy fort,”
my man-son says.
Just returned from first year,
he rigged those ropes,
hangs there day and night,
rain or shine, under a silver tarp.
And so they come, all summer,
to the camphor tree,
to newfound freedom. Clinging

to the comfort of childhood
they come, these boys
I have known since before beards.
Each morning I awaken to the sun
and peek through slats of kitchen blinds
to see cocoons swinging in grey dawn,
knees poking from hanging pods,
boys covered in Scout bags,
living-room throws, bug bites.
I muse inside, near the window,
before coffee,
about what man-butterflies
will emerge from those wraps
at summer’s end.

Stacy Barton is the award-winning author of Lily Harp, Like Summer Grass, and Surviving Nashville. Stacy is also the author of picture books, plays, and animated short films as well as hundreds of live shows for Disney, SeaWorld, Ringling Bros. and others.

Susan Lilley is Orlando’s Poet Laureate and the author of Venus in Retrograde, forthcoming from Burrow Press in April 2019

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