The Promise of a Tree by Julia Kadlec-Wagner
On 04/10/2015 | 0 Comments
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Editor’s note: We asked our contributors to respond to this spring-related prompt: Using the following phrase as a starting point write for 10 minutes without self-editing:

“Collapsing under a canopy of green…” (source: The Journal)


The Promise of a Tree

Collapsing under a canopy of green

There we are, under the acacia and the ocean is far away,

It doesn’t know either of our names.

I’ve worn this shirt for three days straight, in the rains,

and through mostly unpleasant dreams

Hoping that, although unkempt,

It will somehow lead me back to you.  Not the you in my dreams,

this talisman, by some shamanic token can lead me back

To the you there under the acacia, and the me there

That loved you true. To the us that was, where there is no sound

Unaware of what was to come, of letters that reveal obligations

And the responsibilities of time – to ships that come and swarm the port for life

Promising it all

And talents that sail on while love dies

Unaware that canopies shade the eyes, as we might have done

If someone had warned us to be wise.

And now look at us, lost and worn under the blue green algae of leaves

Flown from this place that never could have been, except hallowed

Haunted still the best dreamscape where we must have met

1,000  years ago already holding each other before the beginning.

At sunrise,

And as it dies… a



Julia Kadlec-Wagner is a poet and writer.  She teaches Academic and Creative Writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University.  Here, she worked as an adjunct instructor for many years prior to her current lectureship position.  She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from University of Cincinnati and her Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from The City University of New York, Brooklyn College.  Previously, she taught in and helped to establish the First Year Writing program at Montclair State University in an instructor specialist capacity as she also earned her certificate to teach writing.  She also serves as a peer-reviewer for journals such as The International Journal of Literary Humanities through Common Ground Publishing and The International Journal of Cyber Ethics in Education through IGI Global.  When time permits she writes reviews, pedagogy practice and strategies, and literary analysis.  She is a member of the College Women’s Club of Montclair.  Professor Wagner began her career in academic publishing (HBJ) and then moved to design magazines such as Metropolis and Elle Décor magazines as director of sales and PR for her client base.

Photo: By Doug Robichaud

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