The air lost weight today
just after the saws
took down the giant tree.
The ample bosom of leaves,
the fullness of bird song
and gravity of shade
are pulp with the grinding.

A century of habitat,
a poet’s gentle bower,
fed to the waiting dragon’s jaws.
Five men and one truck
and less than three hours,
efficient as juicing a carrot
for cleansing.

The tree was a cathedral
in our backyard sky.
In place of cupola,
and buttress,
now a façade
of suburban gray,
and no leaves turning.

A guilty fragment of sunlight
sneaks across the fence,
uncertain of its welcome.
In the corner, a leafless breeze
holds its breath.
Anemic flies worry the air
like mini-ghosts evicted
from their homes
without warning.

Like when my sister left home—
the one who helped us dress
each day for school.
Now the sun reddens
my bare back,
and my shadow impatiently
fans its face.









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