Weeping Willow

even though I knew it was ill last winter

I tugged at its piteous twigs

searching for a spot of green

painting tree healing medicine on a deep wound at its center

hoping against that which was already decided.

I remembered how we towed it home in a Honda Civic.

digging a ridiculously large hole

accidentally cutting through cable and phone lines

covering it all with a profusion of flowers.

disregarding my own burning questions.

I swear I heard it then,

I heard your wild heart

churning an anguished,

erratic

snap

while you leaned hard against your shovel

as you gasped out the crazy unfamiliar name,

“Cutleaf  Weeping a River Willow?”

and you twirled the veins of serrated leaves against the blazing sun.

puffing,

“how long before I lay  beneath Her Shade?”

I heard it all in the sharp, timeless, demanding, prairie current

as it tilted both your spines, I heard that insidious Wind

Call for you.

this spring I promised myself not to cry as    i cut It                                                                     quickly to the ground.

now I water the worried stump,

searching for a sprout among the weeds.

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