Troy Jollimore


When the little tree falters and droops pathetically 
under the weight of that innocent-looking
but fatal ornament, and Charlie Brown wails
I've killed it, everything I touch gets ruined,
I feel for the guy: I know the sad prison
his heart's doing time in. I know how it feels
to be King Midas's evil twin,
Destructo-Man careening through the world,
smashing houses, reducing highways to rubble,
leveling whole cities with my evil-eye laser beams
and mega-grenades. If only I could hold 
a cute little bunny without crushing the breath 
out of it with my unrestrained strength, if only 
I could embrace a woman without inspiring 
in her the sudden desire to get 
a restraining order or move to Cleveland. 
I wish I could have a drink with Charlie 
Brown – he must be old enough now, 
he probably goes by Charles, or Chuck – 
and tell him it gets better, Chuck, or, really, 
it doesn’t, but you learn to live with it,
and you learn that what you destroy comes back
to you, not always, but sometimes, refreshed
and reassembled, almost as good
as new, and sometimes – sometimes – bearing
the willingness to forgive. And he'd take
a long, mad gulp of his vodka gimlet,
stare off into a world that only
he is heartbroken and tipsy enough
to see – some planar Midwestern town
with repeating trees and ink-black night skies,
and, forgetting that I was there, he'd shake 
that globe of a head and sigh and mutter 
You know, the truth is that Linus was right.
It really wasn't such a bad little tree.