Alexandra Donovan

Mother Stump

They cut you down, although you could have grown
to be one thousand, ninety feet around.

Your wood was needed out in Watsonville—

felled lumber for the country store and jail.
Sequoia sempervirens, ever green

and ever growing: when your trunk is cut

it sends out runners through surrounding soil,
each runner turning into tiny shoot

and shoot
           to tree that seeks the canopy—

a circle formed where giant used to be.

Your body has moved on, forgetting us,
becoming crates for oranges, fence, sawdust.
Your children stand still in a silent ring;
      your shape:

a negative that touches everything.

questions from the dead

when was his last haircut, how long the hairs?
please tell me are they being cut and if
i still could touch them, would they feel as air,
like cold silk wind that teased us on those bluffs
or bristlecone, a wired and rooted thing
that hooks itself into the barren rock?

i can almost remember the feeling
of brushing them, of loosening a knot ,
or the cold weight of scissors in my hands
the way the cuttings dropped like snow, or ash,
the way they never really seemed to land
yet found their way to every day-lit edge

how they would never fully leave our lives
nor grace us with a weight that satisfies


Alexandra Donovan is a poet, teacher, and volunteer chaplain. She received her BA from Stanford University and her MFA in Poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Alexandra's writing has appeared in Pirene's Fountain, Selfish Magazine, Ruminate, Gyroscope Review, Presence Journal, Poets Reading the News, and others. Her first chapbook, Mother Stump, was released by Yak Press in August 2018. Alexandra was the summer 2018 Denver Lighthouse Writers Workshop's Writer-in-Residence at the Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Facility in Las Animas, Colorado.


Barbara Crooker
Alexandra Donovan
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Colleen S. Harris
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Mary Mercier
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The most recent addition to The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline is Phillis Wheatley by Kathryn Voorhees.

Kathleen McClung is the recipient of the 2019 Mezzo Cammin Scholarship to the Poetry by the Sea conference.

Megan Marlatt:Looking like large puppet heads, it was "anima", the root of "animation", that led me to the making of the big heads, (or "capgrossos" as they are called in Catalonia where I learned the craft.) Anima is the soul or what breathes life into a being and to animate an inanimate object, an artist must insert a little soul into it. However to bring attention to what is invisible, (the soul), I chose to mold its opposite in solid form: the persona, the ego, the big head, the mask. Nearly every culture across the globe has masks. They allow performers to climb into the skin of another being and witness the other's world from behind their eyes. While doing so, the mask erases all clues of the performer's age, gender, species or race. In this regard, I find them to be the most transformative and empathic of all human artifacts.

32 Poems
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