The War Against the Trees
Of course you cut the tree limb back
to make way for the telephone wire,
of course you top and trim
the wild branches from the boy to make a soldier,
of course you fly miles
per second through the upper atmosphere to close a deal
that will cut short the century-long
breaths of the jungle, another million acres gone
to make paper and grow beef—
What kind of war is this
against the flowers of the valley of the Amazon,
against the tribes this wilderness
has civilized, against the songbirds who fly south
from your sealed window to winter here,
against the children who need
the exhalations of these green cities to live
when you are gone?
Of course it wasn’t you who planted reasons
in the tiny brain of the bulldozer,
who murmured the one god's name
through its fuel line that could make it charge amok,
churning delicate foliage under tanktracks,
chewing down the towers of this ancient
capital of the trees—
The clues are everywhere.
Who ate the hamburger
out of that paper sack and left it there,
a greasy blossom of the parking lot?
Who crumpled that mediocre draft of a poem
only moments ago, tossed it like
a paper flower on the tomb of the spring
and split open the fresh ream?