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Sandra McPherson: Far Away in Time, the Senses Return to Me as I Identify with That Tree

The way the lightning-split

     willow was tugged,

wandy and half still alive,

     it refused to uncrook.

So, nearly into the lake,

     the big man ran his bull-

dozer at it till the machine

     climbed the trunk.


A tree unleashing animal noise,

     a three-hour oration

before stench from cut roots

     blew it out.

Wet pliable young wood

     balked at the daylight.

Unnerved intuition of those

     who would have perched there.


And witnesses hanging back

     while the man,

linking chain around

     the mammoth fragment,

hastened to finish —  

     before dark.  And before dark,

he dragged off his weeper


First published in The Yale Review, Vol. 98. No. 1, January, pp. 39-42. 2010.  Reprinted in Certain Uncollected Poems, Ostrakon Press, 2012.

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