Poets are Present is a poetry residency in conjunction with David Ives’s adaptation of The Metromaniacs. As part of this unique theatre/poetry exchange, the Shakespeare Theatre Company is proud to host more than 30 D.C.-area poets in the theatre’s lobby. Throughout the run, we will share with you the poems that this residency inspired our guests to write. Visit our Poets are Present page to see a list of upcoming poets.
Sheila McMullin is a poet, artist, and feminist working in DC. She is Assistant Editor for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, Contributing Editor for ROAR Magazine, and a creative writing after-school program instructor.
Follo Sheila @smcmulli.
In the Middle of Paper Trees
by Sheila McMullin
How do you describe the trees,
which never seem to change
although, we’ve been traveling for so long?
Women in billowy dresses, men in coattails
manage to walk in circles around these trees,
make ground, and arrive with a plan of something to say.
I’ve been walking here for so long
and the trees haven’t changed,
although I’ve been changing so much recently.
I find quotes tied to rocks,
murmurs stuck in dirt.
The set caves inward
when I pull these words close.
How do you describe that?
A beast in the middle of paper trees.
I have come here today
to ask you how you mean what you say.
To ask if I should let all the animals out of their cages.