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Annette Sisson


A blue autumn, season of drought

and divorce. I read about cleft grafting,

wonder how limbs propagate in the split.


You arrive in your silver Chevy pickup,

bring a Colorado spruce for my blue-

eyed son, shoulder it inside,


clip the low sprigs, shimmy

trunk into metal, rotate, lock it

down. I had shunned the tree lot,

the shuffling through trim, boxes

of painted fragments, too sharp,

too heavy to open. You splice

strands, weave spangled light

into branches, needles soft. The spruce

settles, stretches for tinsel and beads.


Maybe a braided nest of eggs,

sky-blue, to roost in an elbow’s bend.

Annette Sisson’s poems can be found in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Rust and Moth, The Citron Review, The Lascaux Review, Typishly, One, and others. Her book Small Fish in High Branches was published by Glass Lyre Press 5/22. She was a Mark Strand Scholar for the 2021 Sewanee Writers’ Conference. You can find her on Instagram @annettesis, on Facebook as annette.m.sisson, or on her website at

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