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Chips and Splinters

by Nancy Shires

Chips and Splinters

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Picture by Morrow Long

May 3, 2013








It wasn't the hard, cold crack
of brick chimneys breaking
or cinderblock walls caving
to the wrecking ball's punch,

not the sad crunch of
bumper hitting bumper.
When bulldozers began
razing the woods

behind my apartment
for a tree-named subdivision,
before I even roused from bed
I could tell something live

had been struck. 
Each time metal met trunk,
I could hear the tree's dying
cry, the alarm of a violated

soul, and it tore
into chips and splinters
the whole
of my human heart.

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