Trees Along the Sawmill Parkway
In the city, we live separated
from each other, without canopy,
or the cooling balm of fungi. Our roots
are blocked by basements’ concrete walls.
Our leaves are dirty as a smoker’s lungs
and our trunks burn with the urine
of pent-up pets. We rise from the boxes
to which we have been assigned and strain
toward light—but there is no surviving
the tangled threat outside your city’s limits.
Vines surge over us with impunity.
Honeysuckle, bittersweet and wisteria
spread the sweet reek of death. We kneel
under their weight. They bend the hickories,
choke the oaks and sugar maples crouched
along the Sawmill Parkway. Ravenous,
they erase our god and spread their kingdom
on our corpses. We are suffocating, as you
would be, tied with rope and thrown into
a pond. It is in your best interest,
to hear us out.
Lynn McGee is the author of two full-length collections of poetry: Tracks (Broadstone Books, 2019), Sober Cooking (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2016), and two award-winning chapbooks: Heirloom Bulldog (Bright Hill Press, 2015) and Bonanza (SlaperingHol Press, 1997). For more information, visit http://www.lynnmcgee.com.