Sunday, March 21, 2010

Old swamp maple, now gone

The two of us sitting in the sun. My grandfather
spoke, in the parlous shade of an oak, of the
old swamp maple, now gone: its handsome
sweep, the buckle and crest of the lawn, a
querulous, obvious decline. We are both of us
shaded by degrees. He spoke about seeding and
spreading the chips that the tree men had made of the
maple: the whine of the motor in the chipper; the
odors of oil and wood on the cooling
breeze; the sight, in leaving-winter light, of
faces red from outdoors. His broken
voice. He had meant to say 'mulch' but couldn't re-
member the word anymore. In the sun, not
quite so warm as the word: a spent and
querulous spirit; and, then, a fading wheeze.

(Edited and begun 21 March 2010. An actual conversation, a fictional ending; and maybe I've done something with it rhythmically.)

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