An El­egy for the Lin­den Tree

Prairie Fire - - MELANIE POWER -

Hard to tell the thun­der

from another cho­rus

of morn­ing mu­sic on


who move with saws,

metal teeth sharp. They have come

to prune the tree that in­fringes

on city prop­erty. A lin­den too big

for its britches. I am flesh where it is

bark and yet, its de­par­ture marks me

still. Who knows how many rings

its trunk holds, or how many ten­ants

it has loved, or loathed, or known. Like a whale

on a beach, this tree, ly­ing now upon the street. The finches fly

to it still—in ig­no­rance, I won­der, or grief?

Some bird, I hope, has the ap­pro­pri­ate

el­egy. “Part of it lives on,” they might sing,

(birds be­ing not above trope)—

“but it is a ghost of what it

once was,” like a thumb

cut off, nerves raw, ex­posed.

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