the gods of arbitrary growth

years ago
i planted two poplar trees
side by side
out front
in the corner of the yard

and one grew taller than the other

and i feel like that’s probably
a metaphor for something
or at least it should be

but all i see are trees
and words about trees
stamped across the sky
in a tangle
of branches

all the meaning i prescribe
comes from within
or the trees
and what i choose to name
the one on the left

my cat
can zoom straight up the trunk
leaving scratches
and cheshire grin
in a weathered trunk
time map

but i like to sit
beneath the canopy
and listen
to stories
told by dancing
flicker leaves
in the shade
of yesterday’s




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