Who mourns these elms, diseased, inconsolate,
their long, undulant limbs dropping leaves
earlier each year, small disasters splitting
the rough bark of lesser branches, peeling it
away from the tips down, little by little,
while the wood begins to silver in the sun?
Don’t mourn the elms. They’ve stood long enough
here remembering the hangman. Every sedate
sway of their canopies in the wind recalls
pendulum creaks of weighted ropes swinging
slow and slower from the gallows. Don’t mourn
the elms that spring and autumn rains drape
in grey rags of bark. They and their memories
fall and lie together, white and tangled bones.
Connaught Square on March 15, 2015