Tuesday, April 28, 2015


I picked up a flier the other day-
after you die there’s this company that
will take your ashes and use them
as fertilizer when they plant a tree-
it’s the ultimate recycling;
a vegan’s dream:
“Hey- after I die,
I’m gonna get eaten by a tree”.

I called and I asked,
“Can I chose the kind of tree that will eat me?”
We were seriously discussing
the benefits of being eaten by a pine
versus an oak or weeping willow
or honeylocust
when my wife walked in,
and I realised,
this conversation sounds a little odd-

I asked the man-
Hey man, what if I don’t swing that way?
What if I want to be eaten by   -a hedge?

“We don’t do hedges,”
the man said,
“that’s just weird”.

They say you are what you eat-
Does that mean that years later,
when the tree that ate me is grown,

and shedding leaves one autumn
and young Johnny Turner,
grown grey and old and achy now,
when he swears at the fucking leaves
all over his lawn-
will he be swearing at me?

Will I be responsible for putting up
all those squirrels for the winter?
Will robins celebrate the first day of Spring
by shitting on me?

What if the crows don’t like me?
I’ve had some issues with crows,
scientists say they have long memories,
and you know crows-
they’re very judgmental.

Then one day the city arborist
will gaze at my tree sadly,
inspect its age-wrecked limbs
and broken crown-
 - he’ll check that box
on the form that says-
“Recommended for Removal”
then rev up his chainsaw-

What then?
From man,
to tree,
from tree,
to the fire?
Ashes to ashes?
Dust to dust?
But we don’t burn anymore,
we chip-
will my wood chips
get made into paper,
and the paper be used to print a flyer-
to put on somebody’s car,
to tell them
Hey- you can get eaten
by a tree!

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