That plane tree caught my eye
when I first walked here. A maple,
the sellers said, wife streaming
with allergies each spring. But it was,
no, a plane tree, a memory
of where I’d come from filling the sky
of this small garden. Its fruit like furred
cherries peppered the grass each fall,
bark peeling in scabby strips,
leaves as plentiful as daylight
impaled on the rake tines, blowing
their lookalike handprints all over
this Canadian lawn.
I plotted murder while it stretched
always higher, mindful of its reach,
the boggling scale of its brothers
spanning London’s parks, fanning
the top windows of buildings.
This winter I gave the order
and the arborist, holstered and spurred
with chain saws and tree spikes,
scaled it, feeding its oval silhouette
to the chipper, branch by branch
until it was limbless, then a half torso,
then a stump, ready for grinding,
all that green shade reduced
to a week’s worth of firewood.
And now there is too much sky
in its place, and one less home for the wind
to mourn in on summer nights.