Monday, November 4, 2013

There’s Always a Stump

There’s Always a Stump

Cut away a tree,
saw at its torso
and haul it off.

But it is still not gone.

There’s a stump
to deal with.

Underneath, roots reaching
down and away.

All this time
the tree was always
walking away from us

There are birds that remember
the bark of the tree
under their toes.

There are descendants
of the birds.

There is the repositioned earth
that never lays quite right.


  1. I know this so well. We have a stump in the patio that insists on shooting up new branches every year.

  2. love love love this. So many layers.

  3. This is reassuring to me, beautiful to know we can not be completely erased.

    1. Thank you for this kind comment, and for stopping by! I am looking forward to reading your work...

  4. Stanzas 4,5,6--oh yes. Sadly gorgeous, gorgeously sad. I like the whole thing, but those stanzas are a heart.

    In the last line, I suspect you're playing on the expression "lay of the land," but I've become psychotic about the epidemic of mistakes with "to lie" and "to lay," so I cannot help but hear that problem in the line. The only exception I've ever made is Bob Dylan's "Lay, lady, lay."

    And when I refuse to grant exceptions, the world trembles, kneels in obedience, as we know.

    1. So funny you mentioned this. I changed the word a bunch of times (between lies/lays)--each one sounded off to me. I talked myself into each version working, and then my brain couldn't decide. Maybe another word is what I need entirely.

      And thanks!

  5. By the way, I feel guilty and weak for making an exception for Dylan. I couldn't help myself. Still can't. Doomed and damned I am.


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