Total Pageviews

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Sappy Tale

Elm Avenue, Okauchee, WI
has no elm trees,
only the brittle twigs of our memories,
much like, I suppose,
Orange Tree Estates, Orange County, CA
has no orange trees,
only the faintly remembered aromas from youth,
the sweet citrus dreams of SoCal hipsters.
Many pines remain in Pine Top, AZ,
and you can still find birches in Birch Tree, AR,
but, for most of us,
it’s scrapbooks and photo albums,
taking us back to our roots.

The elms might be gone,
but those firs we planted are thriving,
the ones my drunken Swedish carpenter
of a grandfather helped me plant.
The one that was struck by lightning
on its very first day,
bam, like a spank on a newborn’s bottom,
that one is the tallest, no sign of early scars.
There’s a lesson there, I’m sure,
and maybe I’ll get it one day.

The elms might be gone,
but there’s still a plank swing,
dangling from a rope,
tied way up high,
around a thick oak branch,
down by the lake.
It’s been 50 years since I last saw it,
so surely it’s been changed a few times.
I wonder who does that,
and I wonder how they get up there,
and I wonder if their mom knows about it.

The elms might be gone,
but the lilac bushes remain hearty.
Thank goodness there was no
Dutch Lilac malady,
although I’m pretty sure that
it wasn’t Dutch Orange Tree disease
that caused all those uprootings in SoCal.
If this global warming thing,
or some other planetary sickness
gets to the palm trees,
we’re in real trouble.
but that will be for
a different poet’s despair.

No comments:

Post a Comment