A poem of mine was accepted into an on-campus literature magazine, which is wonderful, but I just realized in her revision, the editor deleted one of the lines in the last stanza which I felt was important. In that one deletion, an important part of the meaning was destroyed, and I swear the poem makes less sense. It’s too late to fix it, as the magazine has been printed, the release party is tomorrow night, and I e-mailed a quick response with my approval. I feel like…she did not understand what I was doing, and hacked blindly at my work in a rush to meet a deadline. The ending is not what I made it.
And now I am expected to read it out loud.
Before I go out and recite work I have physically but not mentally endorsed, I would like to publish my poem somewhere, while it is still mine.
The Lemon Tree
When I was a young girl, Before all of this, My mother planted A lilac lemon tree With lilac lemons.
When I was a little girl, Who was told nothing. Who questioned nothing. Who knew nothing, But the smell of the fruit.
Before all of this. Before he stared coldly at her, And she stared coldly at it, And it grew coldly and silent Beside the kitchen window.
My mother planted. Her eyes watered the sapling, Gave strength to leaves. Her lips sighed sweet venom, Raised purple flowers.
A lilac lemon tree, Grew up to my window. The smell seeped into my sheets, Suffocated my dreams, Till all were leaves And bark and flowers,
And lilac lemons— Smooth, soft lilac rinds revealing Dark, juicy lilac meat.