Upon Receiving a Letter About the Shrubbery

The city forester trolls the neighborhood.
His truck is not even green, nor does his cap
sport a feather, nor, I’m willing to wager,
do his lovely felt shoes curl up at the toes.

Nevertheless he’s caught the bridal wreath
spirea spilling over the public walkways.
There’s a branch of linden that will fall
in time and sue us back to the Stone Age.

There’s grass in a crack that might
become a crevice, or even crevasse
if you like. Wants poison or pulling.
Some of the shadows of certain lilacs

seem uncommonly disorganized. Free-
form bits of darkness entangle the wind.
The city forester trolls, notes the maple
gone rogue in the untrimmed privet hedge.

He surveys the bosom of the elderberry.
His fish to fry are rooted deep in disarray.
He knows what common light will bear
if you let the wild off with only a warning.

—Max Garland, Eau Claire