Cause of Death by Brenda Birenbaum

Issue 13

I just moved into a house
and they are all dying
every day for a few minutes
from the inside out
you wonder how this disease
in its virulent form
suddenly appears

we continue to see
wildfires along the roads
beginning in autumn
near motorways
anywhere you live

the roads in winter
when there’s snow or heavy frost
huge swaths turning brown
starting at the bottom
spreading to the top

death along with disappearance
the biggest I have seen
as the drought continues
a growing wasteland
this vernal time of year

we live in the country
summer progresses
along the roadways
it is a slow death
from the top down
We refer to this situation as decline
for want of an exact cause of death

Source & Method: DuckDuckGo search engine results for the term “dying pines”, using odds and ends from the blurbs in the results page. Not always in order and some slightly revised.

Brenda Birenbaum writes things. Her work has appeared in Low Light Magazine, The Vignette Review, Random Sample Review and elsewhere. Find her @brbirenbaum.