leaning this way and that, as if not on speaking terms. These trees
are tall and weathered with brindled bark and the same wrinkled
scowls that line the hallways of old-folks homes. They’ve earned
the right to appear irritated by the fat gray squirrel fidgeting
along the arborvitae hedge. I imagine them wincing, remembering
all those generations of squirrels before him. I imagine them pursing
their lips, wondering how many more they will live to see. A crow flaps
from within their prickly branches; the wind blows. We five shiver
together as I stand, unstiffen, remind myself that they are only old firs.
First appeared in Poetry Breakfast on March , 2016.