In the city branches are a small span
but still boys break at the brittle parts
before school, reaching above asphalt,
or they climb up as a convenient excuse
to pretend adventure in the old limbs
and they write their knees with necessary scratches
and their torn shirts feel the foreign soot
in corroded bark.
The Council has the power to trample on it
with a girl’s finger lightly at a typewriter,
or it may even now be withering in secret, quietly.
Or the rough-chinned youths might fall upon it tonight
in the hours after no school remembered
because of the feel of a blade in their good hands
or something about it being there, living, and them
to accomplish nothing.
But today it is fact in a green accent
it is alive tree in this city
with its exuberances of new leaves
for all children to tear at and to fondle
to learn the feel of moistness still on them
to tell the truest way of year from.
It is a place to eat their lunches under
in shade, greedily.
© Thomas W. Shapcott