My personal favourite tree in the entire neighbourhood has been cut down.
This magnificent tree stood at the south east corner of Commercial & Adanac. Its majestic dome of a canopy was a wonder to behold. I used to see it just about every day as I waited for the #20 going south, and I would day dream about the photographs I could take of shapes and patterns.
But no more. That wonderful tree is now a pile of lumber surrounding a stump.
I guess the tree was on city land. I wonder if they have to go through the same rigorous processes that they quite rightly enforce on property owners seeking to remove a tree. Somehow I doubt it.
A bright orange salamander silently slithers
the length of the soft-pink stone-chip wall,
making faster speed than I could in this heat.
I sit, staring, mesmerized by this costumed athlete,
this splendid natural explosion of colour,
this distraction from the dull monochrome of my life.
With a desperate reluctance, I crack open the velcro
ties that bind me to the lizard, drawing back my focus
to include my companion and the unfinished wine.
“Let’s review where we are,” she says. “Yes,
let’s do that,” I reply from a distance, forgetting
where we’ve been in this conversation and why.
She clears her throat and continues: “You and I
seem to be headed nowhere, neh?” She pauses,
examining me for confirmation. Perhaps I nod.
“As a couple, I mean. We have to come to terms
with that. We have to face the true nature of our failure
you and I. We are not meant to be, that’s the point.”
I say: “I see.” I feel her eyes burning me, expecting more.
Across the street, the afternoon shoppers flow in and out
of department stores and groceries and fish merchants.
“Well?” she presses. “Am I right? What do you think?”
I sip the wine, close both my eyes, and imagine
the cool cave where the salamander rests.