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Three Tree Rows

by Timothy Murphy

Passionate — one poet on planting trees:
three of my favorite shelterbelts were felled
last year, tall cottonwoods brought to their knees,
all of their height and windy songs dispelled.

Blame the planters for groves that couldn’t last,
poplars, white and green ash that grew like weeds,
instant protection from the northern blast
however great the nuisance of windblown seeds.

Two of three belts will make way for the plough,
but mark these mile-long perforated sheets
of plastic, spruces grown six inches now;
fast forward fifty years through snows and sleets

of early season blizzards. Pheasant hens?
We can’t confine pheasants like pigs in pens.

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Tim Murphy farmed and still hunts in the Dakotas. The Dakota Institute Press published two new collections of his, Mortal Stakes and Faint Thunder, in March 2011.

See links to all sonnets by this author

Pat Jones
Published 29 March 2011