Synkroniciti is excited to welcome Philadelphia poet Alison Hicks with “Copper Beech,” a poem in two parts that explores how a Copper beech tree experiences thirst and scarring, damaging conditions which humans also experience. At first, the human-tree relationship is adversarial and we identify with a damaging fungus rather than the tree: “The fungus sucks sugar from cambium and outer sapwood/ the way a child sucks on wedges of orange,/ pushing out juice, reaching for another.” The final image mends this relationship by establishing a kinship between humans and trees, hinting at the similarity of a scraped knee to a wound that closes over a scraped trunk or amputated branch. Alison avoids the sentimental overtones that often dominate anthropomorphism by centering the poem on the tree rather than the human child and by informing her empathy with a scientific approach. Thirst, bleeding and scarring are defined from the tree’s point of view, a unique and valuable perspective.
Read “Copper Beech” in our September 1st issue, “Broken,” available for purchase here: https://synkroniciti.com/the-magazine/purchase-individual-issues/. We are happy that Alison will also be joining us for our upcoming issue, “Space.”
Alison Hicks was awarded the 2021 Birdy Prize from Meadowlark Press for Knowing Is a Branching Trail. Previous collections are You Who Took the Boat Out and Kiss, a chapbook Falling Dreams, and a novella Love: A Story of Images. Her work has appeared in Eclipse, Gargoyle, Permafrost, and Poet Lore. She was named a finalist for the 2021 Beullah Rose prize from Smartish Pace, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Green Hills Literary Lantern and Quartet Journal. She is founder of Greater Philadelphia Wordshop Studio, which offers community-based writing workshops.