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The book The House of the World has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and is now available on Amazon.

Three Trees

I lost two trees last summer
in a wind hurricane
that came without rain.
Without lightning.
Just wind scouring the
branches and leaves of everything.
A hot wind that burned like salt.
Like an ancient seabed rolled up.
A mummy taken from its death bed.
It was a storm unlike any other.
Making us sit in corners
confused and afraid.
Drinking wine and beer,
and silently cursing the devil,
rattling our windows,
shrieking in derision at our
tender skins, our fragile constitutions.
The bellicosity of our weakness.

We were being had.
Collars being fitted around our necks,
as we watched branches
shorn of leaves,
foliage taking flight.
Then I heard the spine
of a young tree break.
A handsome pinnacle
of perfect posture,
splintered like a bow.

That’s how it was.
Surreal light full of dust.
Shade that sheltered us
blown away.
A sanctuary where children played.
We are now replacing our losses
with three trees.
Two maples for ashes,
and an oak for good measure.
Our answer to fatalism.
Against turning our back on destruction.
Against world weariness
and cynicism.

Nothing is over
that we refuse to accept.
I am not forgetting
the beauty of my trees.
I remember the hurricane
as something dying.
For all its power,
its uselessness.
The crash of an explosion gone.
A bat returning
to the darkness of its cave.
The remains,
three trees,
green as jade,
the beautiful
coming back to life,
sweet dreams.

Published inIndex of all Poems