“Pillars in the Forest” by Joy Merchant

marble white columns of the quaking aspen
golden leaves flutter at the smallest provocation
quiet Pando, tens of thousands of clones, hundreds of acres
trembling ancient giant
resilient, regenerative
the world’s largest organism
its heart far beneath the ground
“we must protect these trees,” she tells her children
they dig a hole in their backyard
plant a newly sprouted conifer, give it a name
mowed over a week later

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