Willows by Al Ortolani

when willows shoot out overbio photo 2

any road, this is love,

the way it begins and ends

in places you never wanted

or expected,

and how it winds up

getting in the way,

or lashes back when you’ve forgotten

to duck.

Then there’s the one day you get tired

and you both try to break it off,

but you know how willows bend

and one branch gone

leaves another thousand, so

by the time the last one’s broken

the first one’s grown back

and there you have it

−love and willows.

~ Al Ortolani

Al Ortolani is a public school teacher. His poetry and reviews have appeared in journals such as New Letters, The Midwest Quarterly, The English Journal and the New York Quarterly. He has three books of poetry, The Last Hippie of Camp 50 and Finding the Edge, published by Woodley Press at Washburn University and Wren’s House, published by Coal City Press in Lawrence, Kansas. His newest collection, Cooking Chili on the Day of the Dead, will be published by Aldrich Press in 2013. He is an editor for The Little Balkans Review and works closely with the Kansas City Writer’s Place.

Previously Published in The Windless Orchard


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