The New Landscape
I’ve bundled branches, sawed stumps low,
cut down in twenty minutes
what took years and years to grow.
What do you think the neighbors know
about the severed limbs that jut
from bundled branches, their stumps sawed low?
The taxus and squared boxwood woe
the push and pull as the hand saw cuts
down what took them forty years to grow.
A younger resident, I want to show
ambitious feats to hide my ruts
I left from bundled branches, stumps sawed low.
Even though the overgrown are gone, I know
I will remember every butt
of what took forty years to grow.
So leave the Rose of Sharon shoots to show
a fragment of the past, stubborn infant
witness to the bundled branches, stumps sawed low –
I, too, am a remnant of what took years and years to grow.
Published by Sarah M. Wells
Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018.
Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.
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