Todd Boss – “The Trees – They Were Once Good Men”

A beautiful and haunting Todd Boss poem, animated.  Definitely buy this man’s books.

The Trees—They Were Once Good Men

and good women,

who for whatever

reason were never

given the keys to


and who stand now

arms outstretched

to one another, some

entangled, some even

grown together, in

more than solidarity

but still afraid to fall

in love again.


these, in this thin

stand here one sees

one’s vulnerability:

one’s slender life,

one’s limbs lifted


The air.


riddled good-byes.

The wood.


Can you hear your

deepest prayer?

Your farthest flung

flitter of shame?

Your heaviest sigh,

sung like a name?


No, nor can I.



“The Trees—They Were Once Good Men” is from Yellowrocket (W. W. Norton, 2008) and is reprinted by permission of the poet. Poem copyright Todd Boss 2008, all rights reserved.

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