Without Power

Julie Funderburk

Another consequence of the storm:
our neighbors lost two Bradford pears,

trees that often survive just seven years
(life of a marriage these days was the joke),

sending up green, the tear shape
practically begging the wind.

And: for three days you and I have stayed
near each other&8212;in the flickering meals, our talk

feeling again like secret exchange.
Tonight we wait in the city-dark;

a fallen magnolia splits the backyard.
We relax in its branches

as if we’ve climbed, but we’ve earned nothing,
running our hands along its bark

as if discovery will come: precious little,
a dim white flower, a bowl that holds

the strangeness of all I do not know of you.
© 2007 University of North Carolina Greensboro
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JULIE FUNDERBURK has poems appearing in Ploughshares, 32 Poems, West Branch, Southern Poetry Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and on the website Verse Daily. She received her MFA in writing from UNC Greensboro and teaches at Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina.