My Father as a Redwood Tree by Kayla Pearce

At eighty feet tall, you are the runt
of your family. Resistant to pest or prey,

your only enemy is a cleansing fire,
a tantrum wind. I visited you at seven,

carved my name into your spine,
and expected myself to bleed. I wanted to amputate

myself from you, to peel you from my veins.
My mother says if we leave you alone, you can live

for six hundred years. Once, I dreamt she found the chainsaw
beneath my bed, the teeth rusted together

like your tangle of roots, a stitch in our fabric
I cannot unweave. Years later, I returned

to find you’d been harvested, plucked
from the earth like a feather. Some days

I pull pickled bark from my throat. Some days
I cut myself in half just to count the rings.

From: http://www.sprylit.com/archives/issue-08/poetry/my-father-as-a-redwood-tree/

Date: 2017

By: Kayla Pearce (19??- )

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