Jennifer Lentfer

Bend in the Trees


Here is a place for you, they say.

And here is where I find

myself with none.

Brothers fight epic battles

and loves escape to Siberia

and rescue dogs bite their own leg.

What should be fun

is chore,

despite billowing sky,

despite friendly neighbors,

in rapidly changing

climates and neighborhoods.

Carry a knife

and speak of love, unconditional.

Let “x’s” be dropped to save face

in family love,

as waters rise.

Let release come

of judgment.

No room for that



Birds on the wire

chat of last night’s mayhem.

They wonder where the displaced creatures will go.

Mother Nature’s might

only humans deny.

In the quiet morning, after

a dawning sun

that follows the night’s rage,

birds chat, and thank their

lucky star.

Even the most regal of

trees topples to its end,

but they can fly away.

Reason for me

So ancestors, shall we roll?

I needed to know your stories, how you are/were/are implicated,

in the blight on/upon our land.

Benefiters, or instigators, you followed.

Or did you build?

Or is it



Oh how I have searched you/for you/for me.


Be it known,


that there is no return.

And there is no erasing either.

There is only release.






Jennifer Lentfer is a Nebraska farm girl emerging from a career in international aid and philanthropy to put poetry at the center of her life. Jennifer’s poems have been published in The Guardian, the Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review, Lucky Jefferson (forthcoming), and on her blog, As a writer in the nonprofit sector, her articles and essays have appeared in such publications as The Chronicle of Philanthropy, OpenDemocracy, and Civil Eats