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The Alder Grove 

Two trees frame my backyard,
planted from rogue seedlings
sprung in fallow pots,
thirty-one, twenty-eight years
ago, when I sowed the two
saplings above the afterbirth
of my two sons.

Alders were what I had
in the pot at the time.
There was no master plan,
no forced metaphor in mind.
I save things without knowing why.
I’ve always embraced the present
regardless of whether it may
compromise my future.

But as I slide into the depths
of my “Old-timers” malady,
And see these two trees sway
out my back window, I weep
at the sight of my towering boys
fighting for sunlight
and their father’s love.

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Philip Middlemiss

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