The Red Oak in Suburbia

We see the tree company trucks frequently these days

in our leafy suburban neighborhood.

it seems they’re doing everything they can

to keep our frontlines intact,

buzzing up and down our little avenues braking

suddenly, hopping out,

and giving first aid like medics on a battlefield.

Here, from my accommodating deck chair, I

see how the neighbor’s red oak is holding out.

It still towers above our perky little roofs

but bears garlands of scars along its surviving limbs.

The stumps along the trunk and remaining limbs

are hardening. These injuries are confusing;

they didn’t come from objects hurled by man or machine

from behind enemy lines. The injuries

came from inside our own lines, from our own medics,

from our own fight against inevitability,

our own disobedience to

the tree’s own natural death.