Trees

i’m still struggling with this one. it’s a wip courtesy of mary oliver and her love of nature and her dedication to living a life that inspired poetry.

I am not here for altruism
I am here for money which I toil
through brackish swamp and alder
thicket for in dime
sized increments.

But this land is in me like a sickness
and every seven feet I wish a seedling
luck as I kick it into the ground
and wonder.

Eighty years for you to grow
here in the land that the hard faced activists
who march waving their banners in concrete streets
tell us is dead and barren.

Eight years. Maybe-
hopefully
humanity will have blown itself up and my rows of trees
will grow old and their progeny
will take back the earth and heal the scar
where I work.

Not for altruism, but
this land is in me like a sickness
and I hope.