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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week—July 9

July 11, 2019

Zorida Mohammed
The Spirit of the Pines Still Haunts Me

I first set eyes on the two pines
in their adolescence.
They were so robust and so ferny and green.

They kept pushing upward
at such a rapid rate
I could almost see them grow.

The two pines became part of my woodwork,
always in the background of my daily life.
They billowed out, taking up a large space
on the ground and against the sky.
They seemed determined to poke a hole
in the sky.

They kept me company
when I made my 2 a.m. pee.
Avert my eyes upward, out the bathroom window,
and there they were,
always waiting, always welcoming.

Then came the gnawing drone of saws —
saws are always droning in the neighborhood.
The sound went on for two days.
First, the pines were defrocked of all the branches.
The two giants with their fresh wounds stood
as if in the town square, denuded and ashamed.
I could bear to look no more.

When my eyes did fall on that spot in the open sky,
phantom pines appeared and melted in my eyes.

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