Benign old trees in front of houses
shading the way along the street
loom darkly in the storm
wind-whipped and creaking
branches lashing, leaves flying
crack crash BOOM!
The neighbor's tree across our driveway
limb branch leaves pressing upon our car
Then crack crash BOOM!
Our tree uprooted
to pound in upon our house
top to bottom
and in one gasping death heave
flail five feet of limb through our attic window.
In the aftermath, that lighted day,
we stare dully at destruction
both cracked trees, their
burgeoning springs and summers
an ironic lie:
City tree trimmers each year
rising in their buckets
to whittle away dried twigs
while no one thought to tap the trunks
and listen for the echo.
'Sandy' by Barbara Novack.
Published with author's permission.