This kind of grief

For weeks now I have watched the tree thirst to death, unable to tell it that there is very little hope. Its auburn hair has cascaded around us, weeping, and I have felt both inadequate and way too nonchalant.

So I crafted a fictional me who did all the desperate things the real one should–buy yards and yards of burlap, soak the naked roots with water scooped from the river, gather the seedlings, cut careful branches and apply growth hormone to them, explain all this to the dying tree

The real tree gestures up to the mother tree, deeper into the soil, the manicured lawn, sources of man-made hydration.

And then down to the clay and rocks, blanketed now in the reddish needles, strange nourishment

sufficient to grow

Saplings

once she has gone