Everything breaks down,
though it does seem odd
that this tree is not exempt
or, at least, that we are not exempt
from seeing it decompose —
this being a public park.
Where is the truck to haul it away?
Instead, we see the reddish, rotten stump
become powdered earth, the broken branches
a refuge for some small bird, so that now
hauling away the tree would disrupt
a community other than ours,
close to a sidewalk and a pathway, both.
And now in the sun, a small dog I’ve adopted
watches the birds, perhaps other life
that I can’t see, then comes over to lean
on me where I sit, under another park tree
that is, for now, still standing in its life.
Based on a prompt from NaPoWriMo.net. I’m supposed to also explain why this bit of nature is personally meaningful. In this case, it’s because I’m grateful to be able to see this cycle in such a public area and to witness nature, given that I live in Chicago. One of the ways that my city may defy what you’ve heard about it or believe about it is that we do have significant green space rather than wall-to-wall buildings and concrete. The moment I describe was also meaningful because of my dog’s decision to come sit with me after she’d watched the tree for a while. I appreciated being chosen.