They tried to regrow the forest.
Met on alternate Saturdays
with baby trees in tubes,
buckets, plastic tree-guards.
The rows of holes, sheltered
seedlings, rations of water
their day-off task.

Some seedlings died. Some grew,
became ungovernable trees.
But it wasn’t a forest. Even
after seven years, twelve, fifty,
the wipe remained, the clean,
the lines of plan, plantation.
No old-growth, deepstruck, ringed and ringed,
no dryad song, no gnarl.

They tried to regrow the forest
and learned that you can’t. Not
on alternate Saturdays. You have to
work at it
every day.

Or toss a few seeds
after fire
and rain

and wait.

(First published in Creatrix)