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Wednesday, December 16, 2009


by Michael Haeflinger

In June 2009, controversy erupted in Jaslo, Poland after the city council elected to cut a tree down in order to make way for a new roundabout. Protesters lobbied to save the tree, despite it having been planted as a gift from Hitler to the occupied city on his birthday in 1942.

were your seeds evil, too?
branches only longings to reach
out and swipe us all away?
leaves only brooms for sweeping
yourself under history’s carpet?

what of the smaller trees
who sprout at your trunk?
foot soldiers in your endless army
or resistance fighters racing
to obscure you, to bring you

why are you here? more important: how
did your story survive?
why not shred the records
of your birth from the office
file cabinets in which they cowered
for half a century?
why are you here to put
us to this test?

how far has the wind carried
your acorns across the continent
and those people there,
do they know?

Michael Haeflinger is originally from Dayton, OH. His poems have appeared on Maverick, BlazeVox, milk, and in Southern Indiana Review. He lives in Berlin, Germany.