Pruned

By

Pruned

A Poem

By AIDAN FITZSIMMONS

 

Figurine trees pose in the college yard,

unclimbable,

unfurling branches just above human reach,

ungraspable.

Today I studied one, circling softly,

squirrel mind loud,

searching for those subtle stairs only

simians sense.

They should be there; instead, there’s only stark

featureless bark

and dead gnarled nubs, wood belly buttons

where life would tree,

neutered for fear; would we become aware

of our freedom,

foolishly climbing by tree will, fleeing

the godlike shears?

But even those amputated limbs stay

as stumps unscaled,

for the true pruning leaves no trace but a

bare, “perfect” trunk,

pared before memory— natural or

unnatural?

While stuck there to the ground, somewhere in me

unplaceable

stirred an old ache for stolen potentials

and, now tender,

I felt the searing stings of phantom limbs

cauterizing.

 

Aidan Fitzsimmons ([email protected]) can be found by looking up.