The trees went missing—all these houses built,
and no one looks for why or wonders when
they shall return. Replaced by loam and silt
that grows such perfect tulips, nine or ten
in rows so neat. Their symmetry unfolds
to complement each house and be demure.
Uncomfortable in me, this thing that scolds
the brochure-driven neighborhood, the cure
for countrysides uncivilized by man.
And so I hide within my cottage, cloaked
in wild clematis, bushes, weeds that span
into my memory and won’t be choked
by vinyl-sided homes that warp the mind.
I prop a window open, breathe in deep
the vestiges that progress leaves behind,
my mourning pines, the few I somehow keep.
This thing in me, it won’t be brought to knees
as long as it remembers all the trees.