tree line

when the roots could go no farther

down

they widened and went

out

until they were left

exposed

like teeth dangling from rotten gums

unearthed

year after year after year

the trees had crept backward

they had shriveled

they had hunkered down

contracted

from the earth’s contract

that had been broken

year after year after year

yet they still managed

to offer a spring sprig

year after year after year

until and when

finally

their roots popped out

and the trees found themselves

only one line deep

with no forest

with no back to the wall

per se

but with brown and brittled branches

dangling

off a cliff

and when the last bird abandoned its nest

knowing its eggs and eaglets might meet their fate

by falling into the canyon

of the landfill

that was not yet full

the trees breathed a deep breath of dankness

they summoned their roots back under them

they took one step forward into the concrete

that now met them unwelcome at their doorstep

they encroached upon the land

they busted through tar

they rose up

to burrow down

and inch by inch by inch

root by root by root

sprig by twig

year after year after year

they crossed the line

the line they had held

the line they had toed

and they reclaimed

the line

One thought on “tree line

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