by Elizabeth Reeke
8 a.m. The lean-muscled arborists have arrived;
scurrying about with their tools,
shimmying almost noiselessly up the palms,
setting themselves with picks and ropes as they wield their machetes
with well-honed accuracy,
chips flying, fronds falling, hauled away almost as quickly as they hit
Like a choreographed dance, loads are moved across the courtyard to
the huge orange grinder,
green fronds soon green-brown mulch sprayed into the waiting truckbed,
tarps stretched out and secured,
so well rehearsed it seems as soon as they had appeared, they
Strangely, the courtyard was almost silent in their absence;
the palms looked somehow taller, more slender,
but each bore a ring of brown goo where cuts had been sealed,
each high tuft of green seemed a bit more solitary,
a bit more Spartan in the brightness of the noonday sun.
Even at dusk the courtyard held signs of the morning’s trimming,
the naked spires outlined in the evening sky
with those gooey brown wounds still so fresh;
I will welcome the new growth when it comes,
the fullness, the plumpness . . more sheltering . . . more of the earth.
Copyright © 2013 by Elizabeth Reeke.