a poem

because I find I can only write about this elliptically….

“suffocating, if you will”

early in the morning
on the radio

stately trees I’ve only seen
in books I loved and in my mind’s eye

the live oaks
five feet, eight feet,
ten feet of water

salt, brackish water
chemicals, gasoline
(this, too, only in my mind’s eye)

green leaves turning brown, says the reporter
1200 years old, says the society historian
drowning, says the urban forester,
and our people have been evacuated

and still I can’t cry
(the trees, even the trees are dying)
a scream, unheard, has lodged in the back of my throat
and will not go away