Raising the Pine

The welwitschia mirabilis

lives, knotted, for thousands of years
out in the African sun. Its two leaves
become a tangled mass of time

as they grow outward.

O Namibia. O octopus tree.
O dead things.

When the botanist came to our own tree

he prescribed infusions of iron.

It stayed sick that year, until its yellowing
turned. Or perhaps our hope saw it greening.

With one tree on an IV drip, someone

unlocked our gate, seeking a northwest tree

and finding none, approached the southeast yellow pine.
He savaged its boughs—its …

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