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"La Pacana" by Lori Ibarra

Taproots thrust and dive, trusting in their feeders' thirst

no, tata never touched me like that

(tiny girl, you still left me with him)

Good. They say if they’ve done it before, they'll do it again.

(But family above all else)

Leaves whisper and gossip, carelessly flinging our secrets

no, i tried to stop it, i tried to get away

(fixed wife, i trusted him)

They can't control themselves, it’s ok.

(But family above all else)

Canopies harbor and defend, granting dappled respite

no, it’s over mom, please stop

(weary mother, this was never my life)

Just try. Plenty of us don't like it but we do it anyway.

(But family above all else)

Crowded roots mindlessly strangle themselves

And the wind, it moaned

disappointment echoing generationally

And the boughs, they broke

canopy aching wistfully

And the bark, it sloughed

armor clattering wearily

And the taproot, it festered

foundation decaying soundlessly

A note from the poet: The home where I grew up was also home to an over 300 year old pecan tree and it was my secret keeper, my friend who watched over us. A few years after I moved away from home, it was cut down by the new owners and I was heartbroken. I miss my ancient friend and am still searching for a new sentinel, especially given all I've lived through since it was felled.

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