Whenever you pass through a doorway,
a tree pops out from your body.
I’ve seen you rub your shoulder
before spruce needles push through.
Sucker branches sprout from your ankles
and wrap around your calves.
Once, a bonsai maple, fully pruned, sprang
from your stomach, ripping your shirt.
You are used to this. You carry clippers
and a hand saw. I watched you
drag an oak trunk out of the coffee shop,
limping in pain. I don’t know how to help you.
This warm spring evening, let’s linger on the stoop
and study the river where ash and dogwood thrive.
First published in A cappella Zoo #12