Wednesday, June 13, 2018

"after the freeze" by Lauren McBride

after the freeze
a stump sculpture
where graceful palms
once shaded
the garden

--Lauren McBride

Poet's Notes:  Our last bad freeze in Houston was in 2010. That time all our non-cold-hardy palm trees survived. However, recently we were not so lucky.  Record low temperatures wreaked havoc across the south in January 2018. Among the victims, non-cold-hardy palm trees such as the popular and graceful Queen Palms.  After my husband had to chainsaw down a lifeless cluster of palm trees, I tried to finds words to beautify their remnants, which led to this poem.  

The freeze affected many states across the south. I cannot imagine the money it is costing city after city to remove or replace the trees that died. In my area, most are still standing, silent reminders of the freeze.  And to my great surprise, our local garden stores are still selling non-cold-hardy palm trees right alongside the more cold-tolerant ones. So the problem will repeat, and the cost will multiply. My tiny poem is trying to address a big problem.

Editor’s Note:  A poem by Lauren with a happier ending, “Winter Weary Palm Trees”, which was inspired by an earlier bad freeze in Houston, may be found here

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