Winter Occupation by Alarie Tennille

The trees stand at attention
in their drab uniforms –
occupying forces that have cleared
the streets of gypsies in their red
and yellow caravans. Now they ban
any show of color, discourage
public gatherings.

They even intimidate the sun
as they stand at attention
in every yard, bayonets pointed
at the tank-colored sky, boots
crushing grass the color of wait.




Alarie Tennille was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia, and graduated from the University of Virginia in the first class allowing women. She misses the ocean, but loves the writing community she’s found in Kansas City. Alarie serves on the Emeritus Board of The Writers Place. Her poetry collection, Running Counterclockwise, was first runner up for the 2015 Thorpe Menn Award for Literary Excellence. Please visit Alarie  at

3 Responses to “Winter Occupation by Alarie Tennille”

  1. Tina Hacker Says:

    I LOVE the “color of wait.” Terrific poem.

  2. Attention-awakening illumination of such a taken-for-granted scene. Love poetry that wakes us up.

  3. Sylvia Vaughn Says:

    I’ve been watching a lot of Nazi Germany documentaries. This poem captures the chilling horrors wrought by that regime. So brief, so vivid, so precise.

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