You began as a pod flown from the neighbor's yard
             from a parent cursed, shamed, or cut down
We, too, have been singing the dirge as you've grown,
             convinced your roots will tear up the lawn
It is true the grasses planted beneath you struggle and die,
             but it's also true that peonies emerge each spring
The patio we built around you still lies mostly flat,
             and the hostas that V and shoot just beyond your trunk are full and verdant
Help me to learn the ways of your tight clamping down
             to memorize the shapes your branches make as your blooms deepen and lengthen
We hire a cursing man to climb you, to trim you,
             then watch you rise, beyond us in the blueness of sky
In the mornings I am the first to rise and meet you—
             in the cold air I stare through my sliding glass door
I don't need sunshine to praise you:
             your bark glimmers in the rain, too
I want to boast we are the same, digging in, and we make our ground native and faithful to us,
but we are only the same in the accidents of our birth