Hard beneath the concrete her essence stands, still.
In decay she feeds Mother Earth
with rough-climbing branches that will never kiss the sun.
I watched her bloom late and root shallow
in a craggy urban foothold.
She taught me to fight the rain,
collect due with outstretched limbs,
snap without bending,
and scrape dust in drought.
She all but shut down to survive
and never went deep enough to hold.
Shoots absorbed with blight,
produced fruit that was untouchable.
Her friends were fences and we, the children
who played around her just outside.
In spring she could light up the sky.
Beautiful, buzzing, humming with promise of growth.
But as time moved
we watched her face fall in anticipated dormancy.
When that bitter winter came,
her hollow rotted structure gave
and I saw her wither, withdraw, and leave.
Now, I must tend this bitter seed that grows in me.
(art credit: Bare Tree Behind A Fence by Egon Schiele)