The Whispers of Fallen Trees
by Joy Hewitt Mann

    In the paranoia of Major's Hill Park
    the trees are talking to me again
    of the men beaten by bats,
    wooden ones
    sliced across their knees like axes.
    Young pines fall screaming like that,
    the trees say. They speak
    of heads bashed and feet running
    with the fear of sap.
    They have seen blood soaked
    into the grain; should we
    feel shame? they ask me.
    Colonel By, bronze arms catching
    an Ottawa sunset,
    yells from the Hill: No,
    you morons,"
    before he throws it back out
    onto the river.

    The trees and the Colonel are asleep now;
    only the fallen leaves and I debate with the stars.
    There are no answers.

    I may be drunk, but I'm completely sober.

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