The plums plummeted early on Bunker Hill Road this year,
toppled by a misalignment of climactic signals
or a rare eagerness convened by the envoys of spring.
No one was quite sure.
Their skins were rent by the fall,
or rather its aftermath.
Some had sought safety and were, in fact, gingerly avoided;
most were squashed in the stampede of train commuters,
the stamp of stiletto heels visible upon inspection.
The pavement beneath was transformed into a kaleidoscope
of bruise and mortification.
The color of the ruin resembled that of the trees’ leaves,
offspring mirroring parent.
Indeed, some of the branches had become ragged, leaves sparse,
barely budding—a line of treasured, if flawed, canopy shade.
Equally unexpectedly, armed with manuals and shears and
synchronicity, guerilla landscapers descended one morning to clip
the branches of the plum trees. Their resolve was noted with unease.
Perhaps they aim to revive the blood; perhaps they seek to console.
Perhaps they wish to ease the agony of the parents
over this indifference to their children,
crushed before their time.
Yermiyahu Ahron Taub is the author of three books of poetry, Uncle Feygele (Plain View Press, 2011), What Stillness Illuminated/Vos shtilkayt hot baloykhtn (Parlor Press, 2008; Free Verse Editions series), and The Insatiable Psalm (Wind River Press, 2005). His poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Avatar Review, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Eclectica Magazine, Free Verse, Prairie Schooner, and The South Carolina Review. One of his poems was nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and two were nominated for the Best of the Net award. Please visit his web site at www.yataub.net.