Two Poems by Christine Brandel


A chief bestowed a stone
to my twenty-year-old grandfather
who wore the gift like feathers.
He drew from it inspiration for business
and emollient for hardened fists.
++++At the funeral my father stole the stone
++++from grandfather’s coat pocket, admitting
++++his role as son. I remember watching
++++him rub the rock near tax time
++++and at my birthday parties.
+++++++I’m not exactly the age I used to be
+++++++nor do I seem as thirsty. I wake up in time
+++++++enough not to be too late. But last night,
+++++++with rocky footsteps, I clutched the stone,
+++++++warding off the pain of stitches in my forehead.

While walking
++++++the legacy, someone
+++++++++++finally fell.



Timothy was killed by trees. He really was. I mean he was murdered — not like they fell on him or he ate some sap and was poisoned or whatever. I mean he was just walking through the woods one day. Two trees he didn’t even know were standing around and started whispering to each other. One pointed toward Timothy and laughed a little. The other extended a branch to motion Tim over and when he drew near, it grabbed him by the neck and throttled him.

Once Timothy’s breath was gone, he crumpled and fell to the forest floor. The other tree threw some bark at Tim’s body, which is basically the tree equivalent of kicking a corpse. Violence purely for good measure.

The trees then smiled. One even sprouted a new leaf at the tip of a twig because that’s what happens when trees are happy and these trees were happy. Because these trees were bastards.



Christine Brandel is a writer and photographer. She writes a column on comedy for PopMatters and rights the world’s wrongs via her character Agatha Whitt-Wellington (Miss) at Everyone Needs An Algonquin. More of her work can be found at Follow her on Twitter @clbwrites.