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From: Vol.10 N.01 – The Transformative Now

This Tree

by Paul Hostovsky
I never noticed this tree before.
Was it always here? 
Look how huge it is, even the upper branches  
as thick around as grown men—
strongmen in a circus with thigh-thick arms 
holding up the canopy. You can’t
miss this tree, and yet I think I’ve been missing it 
for years, driving past it on my way to work
without seeing it. Now my car is
running quietly over there 
where I pulled over because this tree 
was standing here where I never
saw it. I see it now, though. I see it all
now: How I couldn’t see before because
of the understory—all those stories I was telling myself
were true. All the wanting and the needing
and the dying. But now I think
there must have been something dead inside of me
if I couldn’t see this tree. It’s so
beautiful I want to die. I want to live 
differently. I want to take this tree 
back to my car, back into my life, keep it 
always in view. But of course that’s impossible. 
That would be as impossible as this tree itself
being here and yet not being here.
Which is why I can’t stop staring at it.

Published: June 2023
Paul Hostovsky
Paul Hostovsky’s latest book of poems is Mostly (FutureCycle Press, 2021). His poems have won a Pushcart Prize, two Best of the Net Awards, and have been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and The Writer’s Almanac. He makes his living in Boston as a sign language interpreter.

An Australian and international
journal of ecopoetry and ecopoetics.

Plumwood Mountain Journal is created on the unceded lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to elders past, present and future. We also acknowledge all traditional custodians of the lands this journal reaches.