Taking Down the Tree

13They’re taking down the tree today,
one that leaned, year after year,
a little closer, a little farther
over the neighbors’ yard.
Workmen in bright orange
vests work fast with unyielding
faces, all business. From youthful
tips to sagest bottom, bare November
limbs are sawed and lowered down
by ropes. Disrobed now, a naked trunk.
I hadn’t known April would be its last
foliage, last dressing into supple green
gloves, last ring of years circling
in the stump, now embracer to previous.
Last, the machine takes it all in, spits,
grinding it to mulch.

Amy Neill Bebergal lives in Cambridge, Mass.

Posted in: December 2014, Poetry
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