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Heavy machines growl for days,

gulching our yard’s edges.

Screeching metal arms,

teeth-like hands,

scoop dirt into piles

taller than men.

 

They sever roots

of our oldest oak

to lay plastic pipes

that will soon funnel life

to everyone on our street.

 

A handful of earth–red, damp,

numinous–is not

the freshly tilled land

my toddler touches

on the slick screen of my phone

or the robotic voice

that spurts dirt.

 

I tell my children

a piece of us has been de-rooted,

rebooted.

One smears dirt on his belly,

smiles.

The other asks,

how can someone own a tree?

 

 

 

April Clark Honaker teaches composition and technical writing at Louisiana Tech University. She received a 2012-13 Artist Career Advancement grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts. Her work has been published in 2River View, Deep South Magazine, and Mom Egg Review.

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