The three trunks grew as one,
until the cables and the bracing failed
and the big oak split and shifted,
threatening our home.

Limb by limb, trunk by trunk
a hundred and twenty years dismantled
in a day. The leaves and branches ground
to dark brown mulch, each trunk trimmed
and cut to length, dead weight now, waiting
for the backhoe and the flatbed to arrive.

Ropes are coiled and shouldered
onto pickup trucks. Shredders and chain
saws shudder to a stop. Above, the bucket
descends, the boom arm folding backwards
settling slowly on the deck. Helmets,
harnesses and climbers disappear.

Suddenly, the sky is empty.
Daylight breaks the living room window,
wipes the shadows from the lawn.

Our backs bent, our faces wrinkled,
for years we had welcomed the softness
of shade, the play of shadows.

Can we weather such hard light?



Bob Meszaros has had poems appear in Connecticut Review, Main Street Rag, Tar River Poetry, Concho River Review, The Courtship of the Winds, The Hungry Chimera, Naugatuck River Review, and other literary journals.

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