Planting and Pruning in Loring Park

First mounds
of dirt one day,
suddenly the next week,
a thickening of the urban

my beloved park,
socially distanced rows
of Sargent cherry saplings line
the path

I take
each morning and
afternoon to stretch my
legs, trying to reduce the stress
of now.

It’s here—
my favorite
season in a shitty
year. Why does everything I
touch turn

out? Even the
story of the young white
walnut planted off to the side.

trees die.
trees. Damn the emerald
ash borer, damn us, and damn this

Gasping for air,
I gently press fingers
against the trunk in search of its

3 thoughts on “Planting and Pruning in Loring Park

  1. Hi Amy,

    Jori sent me your most recent poem. Nice work. I wonder if urban nature poems are a genre? Your line breaks between stanzas work really well the way they both separate and connect like going in two different directions, and I love how the poem moves from you to the park to COVID to climate, and you conflate them at the end.

    And I too noticed those saplings. They’e going to be beautiful when they mature. About six months ago Jori asked me if I ever run into, and it’s a wonder I haven’t seen you since I am also in the park twice a day with my dog––not the one who tried to knock you down the last time I saw you and who got returned the next day but an older dog who walks like a dream.

    Anyways, I hope you’re doing well.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Rondi! I have been kind of stuck in a mode of using the cinquain form. Somehow the form suits the times. I am excited to see how the trees bloom next spring. I hope you are hanging in there. I am in the park at least once a day too. Take care!


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