Cover Photo: This photograph shows the edge of hill topped with lush trees. In front of the trees we see power lines and rough brushes and green grass.
Photograph courtesy of the author

The Pine Trees

This poem was written by Gabrielle Spear in a 12-Month Poetry Collection Generator taught by Angel Nafis

The Jewish National Fund planted pine trees to cover up over 530 Palestinian villages demolished by Zionist forces in 1947-1948. The pine trees were intended to make the new Ashkenazi immigrants feel at home.

with every crevice desecrated


            in your ruins

      with our breath


                pioneer fantasy

              bloomed deception

            grafted indigeneity

               foliage paid in blood

but do not deny


        to their knees

 then yank an eden                    

        from the rubble

                  then grow a welcome



    their cartography

making a hearth of this arid landscape


   they fear

our invasive ancestry

our diseased chests

    for even as we disguise

      their crimes



          our flames  

        won’t be contained


Gabrielle Spears collection Doorways Doorwaysimiryangomeans doors, gates, and lineages depending on the inflection and context. In this collection, nearly everyone is complicit and capable of transformative possibilities: lineage is both a site of nation building and a doorway towards solidarity, god is both the survivor of state violence and the mastermind behind it, witness is survival and surveillance at once.

Gabrielle Spear is a poet and educator raised in Northwest Arkansas and based in Baltimore. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Protean Magazine, Hobart After Dark, Anomaly, The Hunger, Sonora Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, and elsewhere. You can find her on Twitter @gabsters93 and on Instagram @verycuteasparagus.