For Max Schleicher

A man rides his bicycle to a coffee shop. On his way he sees the waves on the lake and he sings along. He stops at his father’s grave and plants a cherry tree. It bears nothing but seeds and over time even the squirrels try to ignore the darkened pits falling from its branches. The man gets to the coffee shop and orders a black coffee. While he drinks and looks out the window he sees his reflection. He adjusts his tie, straightens his shoulders. On the way home he says hello to a stray dog. It barks and jogs down a side street, curled bear grass dropping from its jowls as it runs.


Andrew McSorley is the author of What Spirits Return (Kelsay Books). A graduate of the MFA program in creative writing at Southern Illinois University, his poetry has previously appeared in journals such as The Minnesota Review, Poet Lore, UCity Review, HAD, and many others. He lives in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he works as a librarian at Lawrence University. 

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