The slab of stone into which the name of the man in whose memory the elm trees were originally planted remains, but all of the elm trees have been cut down due to infection by Dutch elm disease or elm phloem necrosis, as well as for other reasons. At one time, the stone had been buried in the soil in such a manner that its inscribed surface was flush with the grass in the shade beneath the trees in the summertime or the latticework of shadow in the winter, but these days it leans against the base of an electric lamppost the top of which popped off like a mushroom cap during last night’s storm and now lies shattered on the ground beside it, shards of glass and lengths of wiring mixed with the snow and ice. What could this mysterious man, John or Edgar or something like that, have done to deserve such commemoration? Perhaps, on some other chilly winter morning long, long ago, he wore shorts outside and acted like he didn’t even feel cold. Or perhaps on a day when no one was expecting it, and marking no particular occasion, he wore a whimsical hat in public without appearing to feel even the least bit bashful – a fez, with a tassel like the tail of a small horse, or a caubeen festooned with an evergreen hackle, or a top hat with a tapered crown and curled brim, encircled by a grosgrain ribbon into which had been tucked a single feather clipped from a lusty peacock’s train.
Eli S. Evans has recent work in, among others: n+1, X-R-A-Y Lit, E*ratio Poetry, Squawk Back, Berfrois, Eclectica, Drunk Monkeys, The Daily Drunk, On the Seawall, and Right Hand Pointing (One Sentence Poems division). A chapbook with Analog Submission Press (A Partial List of Things I Thought Might Kill Me Before I Started Taking a Daily Dose of Benzodiazepines) was published in August 2020, and a small book of stories, Obscure & Irregular, is forthcoming in early 2021 with Moon Rabbit Books & Ephemera.
image: Nikki Dudley