All At Once - Poem by Ed Roberson
Trees have whole streets
of when they were planted
plaqued with when the city is
to inherit them dead
of age almost all at once as if
a natural bombing.
People see a bill not figured in,
a blood red
like fall's leaf due without fail
an unseen cost of the design:
pale bud and yellow blossom—
though seeming little to do this time
with tense spring
in the window
of dead and dying trees' terms up,
with expecting a life by life replacement—
not this plague of life's time
as a season across the city.
By trial we do, but don't
know how death counts the rings
from trees to clocks,
species to singled soul
at its hour. or on history's days we all die at once.
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