Skip to content

Pumpkin Ash and Cypress Knees

Katherine Quevedo


Bald cypress thrusts its knees
in knobby little spires
just above the waterline.
Pumpkin ash bulges
at the base of its trunk,
engorged with brackish
drink. By moonlight,
I can almost discern
the red spikes of cardinal
flowers craning their necks
alongside the river’s
offshoot, the bayou,
with its indecisive flow,
my own directional change
and stagnation and muddied
thoughts poured out before me
in the starry pitch. Insects
exercise their whirring, clicking
voices. I am flooded and ripe
with rot. This swamp needs
a new tree, and I have knees
and full-bodied thirst.


Katherine Quevedo was born and raised just outside of Portland, Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two sons. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Rhysling Award, and her debut mini-chapbook, The Inca Weaver’s Tales, is forthcoming from Sword & Kettle Press in their New Cosmologies series. Find her at

Please consider subscribing to the McNeese Review or purchasing a current issue or past one! Click on the Submit button to find out more about subscription and purchase options.