Copse


                        When congress slipped

a note to sell off federal

            lands—to deforest,


to develop, and to cut

                                    enlightenment

from the American landscape,


            I began to memorize

definitions for the words:


copse, gully, rill, rivulet, orchard.

Maple. Oak. Linden. A place


in Antartica hoards every seed

on this planet, underground,

                                    for the apocalypse.


Last night, a tree fell in the windstorm


the crack sounded like a split

in the universe. It fell in the road


and blocked traffic like a protest.

This morning the town came

            and ground it down to stump.


It’s still windy. The trees sway

                                    outside my windows

rendering their own march. Waving.


            Waving we are here—

we are over here.

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