Sonnet #15

They say an olive tree can live a thousand years –

The pears, down here, if fireblight hardy, live
at least a thousand, too. There’s oaks that shrive
for centuries, and mesquites with roots like spears
into the earth. The trees we plant in yards
last longer than the houses underneath
When the buildings go, the roses wreathe
The hedges grow into each other’s disregard
The roots push hard, the concrete fails
The wasps and sparrows linger in the rafters
It was always their house. Always smaller
creatures – insects, snakes – their tiny squalors, 
We just made a mess before and after
The Anthropologists seek pioneers’ ruins
From the sky, searching pear trees in horizons
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