Black-mantled Tamarin is a species of tamarin from the northwestern
Amazon in far western Brazil, southeastern Colombia and northeastern
Peru where they mainly eats insects, leaves, and fruit. They are
15–28 cm in length and their tail length is 27–42 cm. Family groups
consisting of a male, a female and 1 or 2 young live in a defined
territory - the female marks branches on the boundaries of the territory
with secretions of her anal glands and urine. The female gives birth
to 2 young after a gestation of 140 to 150 days. They are listed
as Least Concern due to its adaptability to disturbed habitats,
presumed large populations, and occurrence in a number of protected
areas. It is not believed to be declining at a rate sufficient to
qualify for a threatened category. Although they were captured for
export for biomedical research in the 60s and 70s, they are still
I have no trees for you.
I sold the last one
Three days ago to a man
Who wanted one for a party,
Pool side. I could tell
From the way he loaded it
The tree would not last, would end
As a conversation piece for one night,
And in a week wither at that pool side,
The pleasantries of its myriad leaves
Hardening and bracing themselves coldly
For the appetite of gravity. I would
Have rather sold it to you.
You look like a man who knows
How to treat a tree. You
Could find it a comfortable spot,
Know the balance between shade and conversation.
You seem to be a man who understands
How to properly mix nutrients, who has
And eye for the qualitative and not simply
The quantitative alone. Yes, I would have liked
To have sold that last domesticated tree to you. The fellow
Who got it I suspect has no love of trees, only
Of effects. His brutish ways
Are not what any of us need in these days
Of high demand and low supply.
But the man was here before you,
And in the long story of it, this is a functioning business:
All will be served, starting with the first in line.
I can imagine that unfortunate tree soon
Curved earthward like the man himself: that very afternoon
The man hunched over in an easy chair
With too many broken springs, a lemonade
Balanced on his thinly coated belly;
The tree, outside, just past the clear
Patio window, ablaze with thirst
And neglect and suffering like a bin
Of feed corn in the hands of ill tempered harvesters.
My joy is not simply in the cash register.
There is an abiding way with these things
Which grows roots into a trainable part of the human heart.
I might have another tree at the first of next month.
I can see you would be good
For a tree. I imagine the branches filled with
Chattering leaves and covens of water, the air rattling along
The chiseled chromosomes in each vein and stem.
That would be an extraordinarily lucky tree.
Cash or credit, come back then.
Ken Poyner has had fiction of late in Corium
, and poetry in Adirondack Review
Review, Blue Collar Review, Poet Lore
and about forty other places.
His wife is a world class power lifter and the two together live a somewhat
strange life in the right hand bottom corner of Virginia. His book "Constant
Animals", 42 unruly fictions, is $4.99 as an e-book and vendor links are
available at www.kpoyner.com