For An Old Tree

At what point do you know that you are history?
When does your story end, in that rocking chair, on that porch,
in the Porsche wrapped around an elm tree
old limbs spreading, remembering rope and gleeful
laughter pulling hearses and street fire, fire that melted
hundred-year-old honey, and dripped, with the shit of the dead
into the picnic, sweethearts on the lawn, white sheets on the ground,
in the wind, skins incised tattooed painted tarred, holes
in the bark where squirrels cower before the storm,
red bush tails twitching in the jar
with the waxen seal that says here is history’s frayed swinging end,
amusement by any other name, abandoned garden fete,
old eyehole, stitches unraveling as the tree
sways with the impact of metal, crash, again and again?

- Petra Kuppers