8. Everyone makes firewood of the fallen tree
As a boy I used to study the *Turkey-buzzard Ash.
But my eyes weren’t big enough to take it in.
Like a cathedral it marked the entrance to the
and to childhood, orphaned of kingdoms.
But one day, like cutting the feet off a man
the Mayor ordered its roots cut.
And down came its tall shadow. The townspeople
to hack off its wings. Everyone makes firewood of
the fallen tree.
*El Fresno del Zopilote (Turkey-buzzard Ash) was the tallest and oldest tree in Aridjis’s village, Contepec, Michoacán, México.
Aridjis, Homero. “Brief Life.” Poemas solares: Solar Poems. Trans. George McWhirter. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2010. p. 203.