TAKING DOWN THE TREE OF LIFE
It's done with a cherry picker,
a little bit off the top each time,
lowered down to the ground with ropes,
live wood weighs heavy,
hits with an earth shaking thud,
kills if it falls on you.
First you scrape off all the debris,
small branches, loose leaves,
drag it away, mulch it.
When you get to the trunk, you begin at the top,
not the bottom or total collapse happens,
take a little off at a time,
small bites work best.
You need to get up there in the sky,
can't be afraid of heights, trust the cherry picker operator
to help you rise,
it's considered a man-sized job, usually
a very tanned man,
but soft, middle-aged, upper income,
fair skinned women are actually better equipped.
They understand it, it's been growing for years,
it's always been too close to them,
in one place, well rooted
though never noticed.
They were busy pouring milk into cereal bowls,
drying crystal glasses, ironing worn fabrics,
social smiling until their faces hurt, hosing down
the driveway, dusting corners, covering their eyes, watching
the side-view mirror.
Count the tree rings when you're done, you'll be surprised to know
how many years have slipped past.