“I don’t like the tree, Dad” – Robbie

I’ve grown old and ugly these last few years,
my bark brittle, my branches short and bald.
I was once strong and watched over this entire valley,
but they buried things here and turned the soil wretched.
The grass around me yellows, no birds come to rest
on my branches, even the ants scurry away from my trunk.
Two Junes ago they built a house and fenced me in.
The things buried here speak. They tug my roots.
They tell me to do things. They whisper Robbie’s name.
At night I feel them writhing under me.
They say they want Robbie. I see him playing
every night through the glowing window.
I want to play too.

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