by Joe Bisicchia

At first, maybe a pinwheel. But it is ostensibly just another tree. There is stability in its instability. A swirl. It stays like a Harley’s spinning tire, spellbinding in its whirl. Deep in its seeds, its ancestries are still pulling the rotted carriage that is out back behind the rundown funeral home where we as brave kids scoured for dislodged zombie heads. We found them sometimes, in each other’s faces. Then our skin grew ancient and unrecognizable like the rusted tin of the hard-to-see stop sign which bobs and weaves as it’s backslapped by the branches of such a brazen, long-armed tree.

It twirls, it does, this tree, like a heart in a surprised chest. This heart spins off like a haze of spokes and hides, but moseys back up in the spring until somehow years breeze by. I lost a heart. Carved it in the bark and seen it firebrand the scar just as that Harley crashed into this cross. And now some other new zombie has my heart and all its swirling blood. Least I could do. 

And here, this tree stays stuck despite all my spit and piss, the exhaust mist, and the sudden kiss. I’m no Judas. Nor Peter. But sometimes I’m right here in the garden with the Tree of Life, scraping the sky swinging my knives, and telling lies. You’re no Jesus, but every Easter you still rise.   

Sometimes, I think you are only me. And vice versa. If that could be. Aligned on this street. Let me kick up the concrete. Maybe I’m King Kong, impossible to chain down, stubborn, broad as an oak should be. Granted, weeds run circles around me. Maybe I am near as the enemy. Hear them now whisper how they shall finally trim my feet to save their precious, unconquerable, helpless concrete. But the heart, even if it’s thought gone, still hardens the hardwood.

Maybe I’m only dying. Every living thing eventually would give in. Do I dare whisper when they cut off my hands? Cut my head in half to lope lines to who knows where? Do I whisper when their dog is unfair? When they staple stupid election signs to stare? Well, yes, I whisper it all. I guess I do.

From this curb, I also put out all my colors anew, in my leaves now so very few, one or two. And seeds. It’s what life is meant to do. And I know it. I now know every chloroplast, every little cell, every climbing clover mite, every little massive gift of life, and every candidate running for office, his or her leaves, I do. Face to face, beyond the hands of time, near as me. I am one with it. Life. And I am made of Love, to love. Ancient and new.

And, there is a kind one, this one down here approaching, who time to time passes by with well wishes. As if, in turn, such a wishing tree as this might be able to touch heaven and lift a prayer. Well, perhaps I do touch heaven. Yes, I do pray to Jesus for mercy beyond this crossing and hard to see stop sign. Pray with me. Dare me to be religious that way with you. Maybe everyone has need. Some way to believe. Another poor guy out there needs a heart. I have a soul to give, and while my heart is a world apart, I have a world to forgive and to be forgiven. We all somehow share this road we’re on. And a heart. I gave him mine. It was once near as the blur coming this way, for time comes and goes, seeing it all now in the leaves that blur forward and reverse.

You there, sitting invincibly on a Harley and wondering where to go as you face the breeze. Yes, you. Yes, me. Pray for mercy. If only you knew. Even if we are just spinning still, yes, there is far more to life than just metal. Believe. There is even far more than ostensibly just another tree swirling all the universe.

Headshot of Joe Bisicchia

Joe Bisicchia writes of our shared dynamic. An Honorable Mention recipient for the Fernando Rielo XXXII World Prize for Mystical Poetry, he has written over two hundred individual works that have been published in over one hundred publications. Commonality of humankind is a constant theme as he highlights the extraordinary power of faith in ordinary, everyday life. His third poetry collection, For You to Heal, published by Cyberwit, centers on the shared pain and reward of caretaking in healthcare. Love Love to Love and to unwind, both also published by Cyberwit, challenge the reader to cut through the layers and complexities of the world and find at the core the true meaning in this gift we all share, simply the God-given gift of love. His website is

SLAG GLASS CITY • Volume 9 • January 2023
Header image by chrisinphilly5448.