In February the father subdues the Malus
Pumlia with a small saw, culling branches
until what remains seems ridiculous:
a trunk with short arms pretending to be
a tree, but no more real than mannequin
as man. By August though, the soil’s drunk
months of rain, and leaves have absorbed
countless hours of sunlight. Like a child
who’s been beaten, who grows resenting
his father and ready to exact his revenge,
the tree is bold with flowers and early
apples, declaring that it will be tall soon,
tall enough no lone man can tame it,
with strong branches boys may climb
and from which men are doomed to hang.
M. Kolbet teaches and writes in Oregon.