A poem about life in a new subdivision
The tree was dead when we moved in,
the first owners of our new home.
I bumped it once with the lawnmower and
it fell headlong, leaving in our lawn
a small, decapitated trunk.
Later my wife gave birth to our son.
We watched him grow and watched him walk.
He painted his room with diaper ointment
and he didn’t speak until he was four.
Throughout these years
the city that owned our strip of lawn
periodically left notes saying
their tree had died in our care
but they would replace it.
Once, an emissary of the…