Swamp Maples by Carol V. Davis

Predictions have been honed to a science:

not just the date, but the hour

and minute color will explode on the

swamp maples of New England.

Do results match anticipation?


The way a man rotates a peach

and between one bite and the next

the nectar turns sickly sweet, small bursts

of ethylene gas filling his cheeks.


And what of other predictions?

Testing for the BRCA2 gene has led some

young women to have their breasts removed.

Is it better to be forewarned or to wait

and take your chances?


Driving to work I pass a house with a sign

planted where flowers should be:

Know your future it says; I’ve never dared go in.


My mother twice came back from the dead.

She never read her horoscope, nor knocked on wood.

Instead, one afternoon she announced

I’m tired. We knew what that meant.

The green would soon give way to yellow.

Carol V. Davis
Carol V. DavisCarol V. Davis is the author of Between Storms (Truman State University Press, 2012). She won the 2007 T.S. Eliot Prize for Into the Arms of Pushkin: Poems of St. Petersburg. Twice a Fulbright scholar in Russia, her poetry has been read on NPR, Radio Russia, and at the Library of Congress. She teaches at Santa Monica College and Antioch University, Los Angeles. She is a poetry editor of the Los Angeles newspaper the Jewish Journal.