No one really knows how those crooked trees
hold so tightly to the sides of great mountains.
Roadside highways showcase this unsung bravery,
drivers passing softly beneath nature’s acrobats.
Your daughter wonders aloud about their tricks
as your rusted Bronco saunters past the amazing act
that these hills put on. Her small voice echoes
through the emptied canals of your thoughts
while you’re taken away to your childhood –
a grinning boy in a backseat, asking Dad the same thing.
The trees, vigilant in their grasp, bend down further
like warped gods, ready to judge your answer now.
Her ears prick up at the response, a muddled smile:
“Roots, honey. They have strong roots.”
Dani Dymond is a senior at Southern Connecticut State University, where the twenty-two-year-old is finishing up her undergraduate degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. She plans on reverting back to her home state of California next year to complete her MFA degree, a goal she has always dreamed of accomplishing. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in Santiago Canyon College’s online magazine, SCSU’s Folio, Asnuntuck Community College’s Freshwater, and the online arts journal Young Ravens Literary Review. Recently, Professor Vivian Shipley nominated Dani for the Connecticut Student Poet Award, a prestigious undergraduate competition on the state level. She hopes to someday publish her creative writing while pursuing a career as a college professor.