The pine tree has been chopped outside the window
that frames the backdrop to my armchair life.
A Christmas tree a neighbor planted years
ago,it grew—gangly, inelegant—above
the balcony and roof, its upper branches
lacking an angel, but favored by the doves
in pairs that used to pass their summers there
Once a gathering place for gifts and carols,
in its dotage the tree became a gnarly realist,
impassive to traffic, rigid and imbalanced
as a man who can’t recall when he last danced.
The town decided all such trees are perils
to plain priorities of cars and wires.
But local finches loved its shade and seed,
and its scaly bark and scrawny branches oddly
fit in, like a grubby, kindly corner store.
I’m looking toward what’s missing now, aware
my gaze has gone off giddy in the air,
leaving me here to make friends with my words.
The whistling in my head is memory’s birds.