“Questions for the Arborist” by Lisa Bellamy

Do you yearn, sir, for a trim Eden? For your clients, do you set a regimen of excessive pruning and clipping, or do you accept—even adore—disorder? Are you married?  If so, on a scale of one to 10, how would your wife rate your passionate kisses? Our trees are struggling for love. Do you think certain species could be characterized as introverts? If so, are you gentle? Do you engage in arboreal foreplay before you fertilize? Does silence make you nervous? What role does imagination play in your profession? One night last summer, the giant conifer next to the garage moved several feet away.  In your view: personal altercation or territorial dispute?  For me, no matter!  I adopted a laissez-faire attitude toward the new arrangement. Are you willing to do the same? If I told you I am afraid ice jams in the river this winter could clog the trees’ flowing chi, would you pledge not to repeat this, spurting and guffawing, Friday night at the game-and-gun club? Are trees dreamers?

Lisa Bellamy studies poetry with Philip Schultz at The Writers Studio, where she also teaches. Her chapbook, Nectar, won Encircle Publications/The Aurorean’s 2011 chapbook contest.  Her work has appeared in TriQuarterly, New Ohio Review, Massachusetts Review, Southampton Review, Calyx, Chautauqua, Harpur Palate, and PANK, among other publications. She was winner of the 2008 Fugue poetry prize. She lives mostly in Brooklyn and, sometimes, in the Adirondacks with her family.

Image: Crop circle shaped like a pretzel by via flickr user Kai Schreiber

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