Poems by Andrew Taylor-Troutman

“A Blooming Tree Is a Firework Explosion”
             By Andrew Taylor-Troutman

A blooming tree is a firework explosion
frozen, perhaps only for a day;
the colorful display begins to fall,
blown by the wind, or pulled by gravity
to the earth as every living thing.
It will not always be spring.
Who says we must be busy?
Let us dance and sing in the sun,
humming like bumblebees among
sweet fragrances of flowers,
making vital contact with what is
rich in meaning, luxury of beauty,
work to which we are fitted,
and grace we have been given.

“A Buddhist Christian Remembers Thanksgiving”
             By Andrew Taylor-Troutman

The rain lifting outside
just as the Macy’s Day Parade is over.

Children’s blue rainboots on the pavement
pounding wet tunes in the puddles.

Her proud smile when naming a gingko tree
by the shape of its golden leaf.

The grass withers and the flower fades.
All is change, gratitude remains.

“What Are the Odds?”
             By Andrew Taylor-Troutman

Wrigley Field, Chicago.
My adult brother and I,
both devotees to baseball,
made this pilgrimage from the Tarheel State

by way of boyhood fistfights,
raging puberty, and ferocious debates,
electric language like a summer storm.
Also, beers. We’d come a long way.

We were imbibing
when the heavens poured,
and a fellow fan bellowed,
“Thirty percent chance my ass!”

We brothers dashed for cover,
laughing that, more than the game,
what would stick with us
was his slippery grasp of the odds.

- Andrew Taylor-Troutman is the author of five previous books, including Gently Between the Words: Essays and Poems. He is a frequent contributor to Porch Magazine, Clerestory, the Presbyterian Outlook and the blog “Go Ask Dad” at wral.com. Taylor-Troutman is pastor and head of staff at Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where he lives with his wife, also an ordained minister, their three young children, and dog named Ramona. “A Blooming Tree” was previously published as part of an essay for The Presbyterian Outlook.

Copyright©2022 by Andrew Taylor-Troutman. All Rights Reserved.