Windward Review

cccclatinxcaucus

Volume 18, 2021

Holly Day

Retribution

The maple sends its helicopter seeds across the yard

in desperation dreams of propagation. The woman rakes most of them up

rip out the long roots of the ones that slip past her

take root and try to grow, wondering

if her tree hates her, if it feels angry when it sees her

with her gardening shears clipping its offspring close to the ground

or if it’s resigned itself to the fact that it will never be surrounded

by a forest of its own family. The woman thinks of these violent acts

during heavy storms when the limbs of the tree whips around her roof

if it’s using the wind and the lightning as an excuse to drop branches

and clumps of leaves on her lawn, if it’s aiming for the woman and her own children

in an act of retaliation so sly it won’t ever be blamed.

Civility + You

33

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