The night cast her lonely shadow
the tide blanket that made us forget
blind, choked up
at the site of our tree
her lost limbs blowing up like smoke
rounded rings on the chainsaw chewing the wood into the air
the storm ran her trestles through our house
the open windows let loose from the slanted rain
the wind ran through our sheets
whipped open our curtains
threw leaves on the walls
splat water, dirt, and lady bug wings.
The tree that fell was bitten off at the base
the roots grabbing the earth like my fingers
plunged down into the soil
open high-five clamping the dirt
and then suddenly as if my arm
failed at the wrist and twisted off
in one clean knotty break
pop. The root fingers left in the ground.
What took sixteen years to grow took four people a few hours
to cut up, haul into a thickened pile
in the side yard, two old neighbors talk giving opinions
the tree spread out like hollow hills
birds nest for a human to burrow into
our grass matted, our broccoli leaning
though nothing but the tree fell.
Our yard, an open sky now
our soggy house, wrung out
in the charming sky, seen so clearly
without any trees to block it.
Water, making its way to the pool in our basement.
Water that gives me life and new food,
water that has made my books into
wrinkly words, the spines growing open, absorbing
are now propped open, standing up on their own to dry.
It makes me question my ability to keep things.
I think it is a sign, mother earth is saying
something, the leaves in the street
will decompose in a nearby gutter
water will return to the rivers and
storm again, the maple tree will be replanted
take the place of the hollow roots
it’s mother left in the ground
The young maple will stand in her mother’s last poised
position, turning around, lifted up, where the wooden block