The Day the Trees Fell
by Pui Ying Wong

Did it matter
if they were mulberry
or elm, gingko
or oak

did it matter
if they started to leaf
or rust, stood apart
or leaned together
like lovers

unkempt or pruned
to perfection,
did it matter

if we planted them
for shade
as buffer
in the front lawn

if we dressed them
in tinsel, fake snow,
in strings of lights
awaiting gods or angels

twined tiny tubes
around their limbs

fed them water
in drought year

if their thuds would have
wakened Hades, the musty smell
of their upturned roots
was the underground,

the sacrilegious air.


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