Brad says not to cut the pin oak down.
That tree will be as tall as the house
when your daughter reaches high school.
A tree falling down, Brad says,
should be an act of God,
and I am not Him.
Yet as he maneuvers his cherrypicker
toward the heavens and begins
to trim away the dead limbs,
his head haloed by matutinal sunlight,
I can’t resist the urge to get down on my knees
& supplicate myself to the deity with chainsaw.
Please forgive me, dear Lord.
Please won’t you bless me.
Please won’t you cut away the dead inside me.
But Brad is not God.
He’s only got that picker for the weekend.
That’ll be one hundred dollars, he says.
Johnson City, Tenn.