the trees bones looked identical.
the expert told a better story.
he said, for the Wild Cherry,
a messy one anyway,
creature of birds spitting stones
from atop old fences.
taught the sweet names
of others: Hickory, Sugar Maple, Mulberry,
and the sources of their stresses.
I peered upwards,
eyes opened to sights
I had never noticed:
Topping, splitting, improper pruning
by electric company workers,
and other horrors.
I saw similarities
Pulling back blankets,
counting every rib....
(How the skin, thin as a handkerchief,
rolls over the bones....)
Tenderly, tenderly, reaching
into a bedsore the exact size of a fist.
Glimpsing into the bodys caverns,
sinews and scaffolds.