The Shrubs of Doubt Were Misplaced



The Shrubs of Doubt Were Misplaced



Still, the dogs watch me from behind

a fence when I walk the opposite route–


against traffic on Gross Street–  

the view changes enough to convince


me I am in a different place in my life

with its industrial constellations,


a parking garage sparkling with hovering

hospital lights while skeleton neighbors


decorate homes for Halloween and blue

jays all seek a different weather. Maybe


October chill has knocked a new belief

into my teeth. Brick by brick I walk


by buildings of my past that survived

into the current, too, and a leaf


from an unseen tree floats

onto the chest of my charcoal


jacket. I pin it there

for the days I will forget.



James Croal Jackson


James Croal Jackson is a Filipino-American poet who works in film production. His latest chapbooks are A God You Believed In (Pinhole Poetry, 2023) and Count Seeds With Me (Ethel Zine & Micro-Press, 2022). Recent poems are in Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Little Patuxent Review, and The Round. He edits The Mantle Poetry from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ( 

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