Tyrel Kessinger

the trees hear

In the Forest by Hans Emmenegger

i know it. what do they hear? they hear everything. the trees in the backyard hear me mumblesing a chorus. of blessings. curses. how another day has dawned. how another day has set. they hear the soft sizzle of me pissing in a corner of the yard where the neighbors can’t see. they hear me lament the dogwood being eaten by a fungus. the trees can hear the wind sigh. the squirrels fighting. the children skirling. and oh of course they hear the birds. god how can you not? their wing and voice like constant symphony. unafraid to fill the empty sky with themselves. and they’re so unearthly quiet the trees. always listening. and fathom: how they live so very long. it’s terrifying. it’s ok to wonder though. to ask them how they feel when a familiar sound can no longer be heard. almost as if they are hearing even time itself. its good the trees can’t hear our thoughts at least. if they could i bet they’d refuse wholesale what the seasons tend to bring.


About the writer:
Tyrel Kessinger is a stay-at-home dad of two wild animals. His work can be found at Gar-goyle, Triggerfish Critical Review, Straylight, and forthcoming from Washington Square Review, Red Rock Review, Atticus Review, and Typehouse. He’s currently in the MFA program at Spalding University and serves time as poetry editor for Great Lakes Review.

Image: In the Forest by Hans Emmenegger (1866-1940). Oil on canvas. 100.5 x 65 cm. 1933. Public domain.