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I wrote this poem after reading Donald Revell’s The Art of Attention: A Poet’s Eye, a book which inspired me to try to write effortlessly, paying close attention to nature and to my own awareness. (Alas, I couldn’t help but revise this poem with much effort.) This poem is autobiographical, based on my regrettable procrastination in transplanting a young tree.


I let a maple sapling grow past June

underneath the porch’s flag pole.

By August its roots will snarl

our basement pipes and plumbing.

Squeezed between concrete and the junipers

and waving bug-tattered leaves,

the thin tree tilts out of shadows.

I hope there is some law against

allowing branches to touch the stripes

of a hanging flag. I almost want

my patriotic husband to call the city.

Then I will have no choice

but to sharpen the saw

and grapple with such liberty.


by Therese L. Broderick

About ThereseLBroderick

Independent community poet living in Albany, New York USA.

2 responses »

  1. Ah, Therese, you are a thinker and we are blessed as you share those slices of natural life that pique your attention. You missed a crowded Nancy Denofio reading that captivated people for an hour and fifteen minute presentation and another hour for signing and smoozing. I had to leave after the presentation, already had my book and needed to work on the edits for my soft cover edition of From Jesus to Love: A Parable Pilgrimage. I would love to hear your thoughts since you have dipped into the book. Can we doo that some time when you have a chance?

    PS I don’t know the criteria for my blog showing up on your site, but I will give it to you anyway:


  2. Hi Therese,

    I wonder if the poor sapling has met its demise yet? You could always let your husband do the deed!


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