By Kristen Roberts


The council come to prune the pears they planted

beneath the power lines, two trucks

spilling workers and tools in practiced formation.

There’s no induction to the procedure, no ceremony;

they simply sever those limbs

whose leaves brush steel in insurrection,

whose growth affronts the parallel rows

with asymmetry and misdirection,

whose bark and blossom and artless verdancy

could never articulate the noise and violence

that attends their gentle verge,

and thrust them at the bezeled maw of the chipper.

It’s easy to misplace the source of the screaming,

and impossible to ignore the grotesque posing

of this ballet of the broken and abused.

When the trucks leave there will be no stillness

and silence will not fall; a ponderous hush

will rise like steam from the asphalt,

and a breeze will lead a procession of leaves to the street

in impotent protest that will sound for days to come.



This poem is a public submission created for Red Room Poetry's New Shoots digital poetry anthology