Backyard Insurrection

Summer, 2016 / No. 37

Without provocation, the leaves rise up

and fly to the edge of the wind’s border.

Whisper something.

Then three trees tear

up from the dirt cracking like ribs. Roots pried apart.

Naked, splayed.

A wet stench spreads

as leering neighbours teem.

One trunk leans, saplings bent

under its drunk weight,

suspended, double dared,

over the perfect house next door.

Mother runs horrified marathons

through horrified hallways

in horrified forests.

Asks me to tear off

bits of flesh from her

ankles and I do it.

Knotted fists, knotted branches,

knotted manes. A welcome home

banner snapping in the wind.

Splintered mother, folded

mother, lonely mother:

the fence is broken, the horses out

and charging down the road.