Stretch marks ripple over the trees in
my hometown born from generations of shearing and
pruning to fit into the cement cage of suburban beauty. They’ve
known but one hue and one form. Evergreen. Too low come the
shears, the axe, the saw, too high come ladders and indelicate,
flat, buzz cuts. Bear it all and remain but pretty side-walk edgers
beside the violent roll of machines in the road.
My trees
have never known the feeling of roots sinking into
marshlands, rivers, seas. They do not
know the glassy fists of ice wrapped
around branches or
glittering crusts
set over leaves.
They are not
allowed to know
the embrace of
the sisters next
to them, to wrap
branch, or leaf,
or moss in wild
solidarity, to grow
into each other,
stay entwined so
that one’s end is
from the other’s

Cement lies idle across years and we learn quick
that rock is not invincible. Roots run deeper,
stronger until it’s tired of burrowing down. Rebellion
moves up, cracks the shackles of fences, roads,
sidewalks, disturbs the ‘peace’ of machines. It’s
slow, this wild reclaim, but damage hits bedrock
with more force than bled drops of forgotten sap.