The Elm Tree
by Elizabeth Dickhut

April was nothing but rain.
Day after day, the gray clouds
brooded as the fields grew
fat with puddles.

My swollen belly pressed
against the door as I looked out
at the elm, heavy with buds,
its dark, wet branches reaching

toward the sky, opening
to a small sliver of light,
enough to push buds open
and unfold ragged leaves.

Now it is May, and the ground
hugging the elm is still soft.
My bare feet sink into the cool soil
as I press the arch of my back

into the rough skin of the bark.
I can feel the ground heave
as the hard hand of wind
pushes against the elm.

It is only a matter of time
before it pulls from the earth,
tearing the yard open
to bear a tangle of roots.

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