I planted you with my own hand.
Thin like a finger and trace of green,
the image alone of climbing boys and tire swings
bent your head.
Your demand for water and soil was bettered for a time
by direct applications of miracle solution,
bought at a store
with many aisles numbered and labeled
by men in uniforms
who once swung hammers.
Some years later, I begin this annual thin.
The meager specter you were
I could lose myself now in green
and spy on passing neighbors
if I wished,
but I don't.
This November climb to limit your furthest reaches
should rightly lean on the learned,
but I take my saw and cut
as whimsy dictates.
One time I worked in a wind storm,
waving with you,
sharing your vigil,
part of your daily sway.
A wretched, clingy beast am I,
clearing pathways just to climb,
finding favor with one branch
by breaking its competition.
No fair trial, no contest of wit or will.
One beam bends west and I choose it,
one east and I cut it to the ground,
irresolute judge that I am.