Peter Dale Scott: Poems
[ Home | Curriculum Vitae | Poems Selected Bibliographies ]

              ALMOND TREE

for weeks you lay dismembered in our garden

your trunk glowed in the January dusk a wet plate of sap

now I am in this pit wrestling with your amputated roots I embrace you you will not budge

on the south side your flesh the color of disturbed almond makes my axe ring and ring

on the north my spade cuts through punk

there was no room for your dark blighted foliage almond tree

though I admit also to being fortyish by no means as green as I was

just because I too am weighed down with mortification which does not start from the roots but is absorbed through leafwork

the more determined I am to extirpate you you made frail by smogs are to be my victim

through sweat and rain I see my children jump for the clean chips

just because in my office where for years I have studied there is no evil that my bright rarely-used axe can hack at

here I swing it deep in the sloppy mud and my splattered body athwart the pit feels at last the tug of your buried taproot

I embrace you blindly and with a small throatlike noise you bring us both over