The Trees Were Dying

it was just today looking out the window of my car
that i saw the trees were dying
crumpled into paper figures, a parody of their former selves
wrenching, like crooked cursed fingers
in the direction of the ground

and i their killer.

I knew this was no simple thing,
like a barren grassless prairie in the summer’s heat
or the dry brush waiting for a spark
or the fires that consume a forest
this was more than summer’s death
that, vesuvian, will clear the path

this was change.

i tried to mourn but i could not
these brittle deathly trees
i sat a while, seeking
absolution in their shade
in the slanted sunlight peering through the leaves
but there I found, alas, only condemnation
crooked cursed fingers pointed my direction

and i their killer



This poem is about environmental destruction, and how we are all, even those of us who proclaim ourselves ‘environmentalists’ (as I do) complicit in that act. We are all killers, whether we will it or not, whether we understand it or not.