October when you notice, when you walk out
and touch its leaves.
Something was broken, then healed, then
You can’t stay the same. And yet.
Later came the Japanese maple
Mulch surrounded it—a wide necklace of chips.
The year of allium, of the desire for a spring
to end so much that is ruined.
It’s called commerce when you exchange,
when you spend. This for a tree: delivered,
planted, two men with a Bobcat.
This much for four yards of mulch.
The furrows in the bark, or the smoothness,
tell the tale. Shagbark,
white oak, sycamore.
They all lose and come back. There’s no
sign of struggle—except the sycamore.
He said I wish you liked to be held.
They stood under an unyielding sky, no
sign of the space station.
I do, she said.