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here is an old tree

a short, stout boxer

pushing sap from the inside out

like Sisyphus

with his rock and his hill

weary as all hell

but never to be cut down.

old, old, old.

this tree

with its lack of breath

and stifled limbs

doesn't reach far into the sky

but instead knuckles down

further into the ground

as though it is afraid.

this tree

drunk on exhaust fumes

cloaked by layers

of burning cinders

spat on

shat on

pissed on

kissed on.

the never-ending pollutants

have choked this tree

and hid its bark

with a papery sheath of tar.

but I see its sap rising

and oh!

it is a wonder--

these hard golden pieces

the size of snails

straining against the bark

pushing out from the marrow

of its trunk,

this tree

refusing to leave

the soiled arena of the city

pulled into a fight for


the force of nature

that pushes the sap out of this tree

is immeasurable,

there are no drips

no tears and

no weeping--

just brute strength and a

silent reminder:

this tree will win.

© Christy Frisken

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