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This poem is taken from PN Review 214, Volume 40 Number 2, November - December 2013.

'Eucalyptus' and Other Poems John F. Deane

Two years the eucalyptus stood
dead in its place, the death angel hesitant
to abandon it. I touched the bark,
sorrow rising as a sap within me. The tree
was inspiration, its yielding scent, the quivering
of its leaves, its housing arms for a swarm
of bees, crossroads for the snattering of goldfinch,
secret crannies for the treecreepers, the flycatchers.
Its death was unspectacular, freezing where it stood
through a desperate winter. And holding on, suffering
the indignities of despoliation. Skin shedding
in long, dun scabs, spoiling the lawn. Till I knew
the tree's love had been an intensity I cherished
for all those years. Chainsaw, finally, against its flesh
was a caress, my guiding it to its fall - the slow

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