It is foolish
to let a young redwood
grow next to a house.
Even in this
you will have to choose.
That great calm being,
this clutter of soup pots and books—
Already the first branch-tips brush at
Softly, calmly, immensity taps at your life.
Why I Chose this Poem
There's a park in Forest Grove built from the body of a tree that was too close to a house across the street. I thought about the choice of tree or house a long time after looking at the yard the body came from. Seems like we're losing trees all over around me. And at the same time, people are forced into housing markets they can't afford. The poem ties me up in the ease with which I can take the space of the tree with the house by killing it when it's young and the grief I feel at the loss of the elders and the human systems and imbalance.