POETRY
At the Slide Show
Martina Newberry

The speaker tells us
Olive trees look like
they never wanted to
be trees at all. 

They stand apart
from each other––
graygreen and sure of
only the dirt in which they grow–– 

even their fruit must be
basted in poison to be edible. 
As seedlings, they never
asked for anything 

except to be beautiful
and that has been
withheld from them.  
Squat, small––tiny white flowers 

(more like insects than blooms) 
lay loose on their branches. They live long, 
sometimes a thousand years, 
and get no prettier with age. 

The man next to me snorts, 
mutters sottovoce to his companion, 
(who snorts a little louder) 
“Must be female trees.”


Martina Reisz Newberry’s most recent book is NEVER COMPLETELY AWAKE (due out in late 2017 from Deerbrook Editions). She is also the author of WHERE IT GOES (Deerbrook Editions). LEARNING BY ROTE (Deerbrook Editions) and RUNNING LIKE A WOMAN WITH HER HAIR ON FIRE: Collected Poems (Red Hen Press). She has been awarded residencies at Yaddo Colony for the Arts, Djerassi Colony for the Arts, and Anderson Center for Disciplinary Arts. Passionate in her love for Los Angeles, Martina currently lives there with her husband, Brian, a Media Creative.