#MeToo: Pine by Tina Barry

Air freshener dangling
from a cabby’s window.
A freshly mopped floor.
The surprise of Christmas trees
in a November farmer’s market
where a woman waved a branch,
proud of its healthy aroma
and I fled.

I thought of going back
if only because she’d said, Miss?
with such concern.

Because she was kind,
I didn’t return to explain,
Your trees smell like a man
who locked me in his car,
or burden her with details:

The warped cross of black
moles on his cheek.

Burnt evergreen of
stale cologne.

His weight, the crush
of an overturned tree.

Chilly fingers in my coat pockets,
I began:


Until the smells became street smells.
The noise street noises.
Until my tongue tasted like nothing
but my tongue.


First published in Veils, Halos & Shackles: International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women, (Kasva Press, 2016).




Tina Barry’s work has appeared in The American Poetry Journal, The Best Short Fictions 2016, The Peacock Journal, b(OINK), Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse (2017), among other journals and anthologies. She has two Pushcart Prize and several Best of the Net nominations.


Tree lot photograph by Steve Morgan. Trees in netting by Project Manhattan. 

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