Chanel Brenner

Clear Cut
by Chanel Brenner

It falls from my binder,
cherry crayon streaks
ripen in sun, LOVE RILEY—

a valentine from my son,
three weeks before he died,

cutout paper once a tree,
before its felling,
and reduction to pulp.

I pick up the heart,
hold it like a seed I’ll save

to grow an oak.
I couldn’t answer
his question,

Mommy, does paper
remember being a tree?


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 21, Issue 1.

Chanel BrennerChanel Brenner is the author of Vanilla Milk: a memoir told in poems, (Silver Birch Press, 2014), which was a finalist for the 2016 Independent Book Awards and honorable mention in the 2014 Eric Hoffer awards. Her poems have appeared in New Ohio Review, Poet Lore, Rattle, Muzzle Magazine, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Spry Literary Journal, Barrow Street, Salamander, and others. Her poem, “July 28th, 2012” won first prize in The Write Place At the Write Time’s contest, judged by Ellen Bass.

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