It pulled out of the ground easily

the root had not taken hold of the soil

with its connection to sustenance interrupted;

rigor mortis was beginning to set

as branches gray and brittle

had not thrived from the interference.

The tree was a donor’s gift 

that she planted for no particular reason

in a flower patch next to the garage.

Never mind that it would grow tall

and its roots would crowd under 

the siding and, likely, the cement floor;

but it didn’t whither and with attention

began to look alive and carry on

with living season to season.

She moved forward, not taller,

counting out twenty two pills daily

to feed roots and thwart disease.

But then something changed, she

dropped needles and leaned to hold

on to an upright position.

Over a winter, wind chill

when growing things are silent 

balancing on a dark edge

she left easily, not tethered to

the Earth as others, in fear, do

not alive, but always ever green.

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