A Poem by Tricia Knoll




Fig Tree



Naomi says her father

never told a story

without including a fig tree.


A donkey tied to a tree trunk

or brothers who pass one

as they quarrel.


The muscular fig

roots beyond its limbs,

slurps most of the garden water,


the habit of a good story.

Although it’s hard to hide a fig tree,

I discovered mine late.


Nightshade, morning glory,

honeysuckle and alder shoots

threw a green cloak cover.


I clawed off stranglers,

booed at the squirrels,

and finding it,


it found me, fig girl

whose story seems as short

as the shelf-life of a fig.




Tricia Knoll is a Vermont poet whose work appears widely in journals and anthologies. She has four collections of poetry in print: Urban Wild (Finishing Line Press), Ocean’s Laughter (Kelsay Books), Broadfork Farm (The Poetry Box), and How I Learned To Be White (Antrim House.) This poem pays nods a tribute to Noami Shihab Nye who has been one of Knoll’s teachers.


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