This morning a ladder

leans against the fence, a ladder
climbed up to prune back again

a tree so bare the almost nothing
left to take away is also taken away

so that what’s stripped-down redefines
how we understand survival, how barely

there & barely living & just barely that
poor thing cut so far away we think

left for dead. Think what’s the point?
Maybe hollow’s just another word

for misunderstood. That twig of green
we’d admire—even need—someone else

thought dismantle & replace while we
mouthed over & again little hope.





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