The question of evil poem
When Bad Things Happen to Good Palm Trees
Take this one: transplanted as an adult,
chosen to landscape the grounds of the church.
It must have been a good palm tree.
Done something right
made good decisions—
its life plan set in front of it
promises of being fulfilled.
By all appearances, a good tree.
Perhaps it felt dissonance
in the expectations
at some point—
with the wind blowing sea breezes and
scents stirring a kind of memory
(if a tree has a memory)—
realization set in: it didn’t want
this prescribed pattern of being
fixed and final.
And so it could not perform anymore.
It hit like a raindrop,
suddenly but without much notice
not enough to make a splash.
The gradual deterioration
illness setting in—
Driving past we could tell it wasn’t flourishing
anymore, (had it ever been?)
Now weak enough
Every other tree remained green, able
the ability to photosynthesize
in this garden.