TREES IN THE MORNING by Barbara Ruth Here on my patio 11 AM on a Thursday in July not too hot, not too much noise from the street I survey the five trees who live with me. Three the same, two singletons: I’ve lived here three years and still don’t know the names for them. Taxonomy in flora: why is it so hard? I hope these trees were here before the asphalt before the triplex came to be. I like to think the trees remember back to then but maybe it’s the people who lived here before me they remember: how they laughed and yawned and shouted what they did here on the patio. Squirrels and birds and cats who have frequented the trees where they push to sky all these are marked. Most of all these five know their own histories, their treeness. Sun. Dark. Wind. Rain. Leaf, decay, turning bare, then leaf again the wheel of the deciduous. So easy just to be with them, my judgments about trees do not arise so quickly could it be because I cannot name them? I am content to let them tree. Just now the leaves are jade, only here and there a few have yellowed, a few shake slightly in the rising breeze but most are still. This is the life I visioned for myself living here writing on the patio, communing with my trees. I find so many reasons not to live this life I longed for. Beside the next to largest tree a tiny new one sprouts, a foot tall. If I were the person I sometimes pretend to be I would carefully uproot it. Replant it where it has the room to grow. If I were the person I may yet become I would uproot myself replant myself and see how I might grow. Instead I wait. Watch. Write. Something will happen next. And something else. And then. And then. Maybe these decisions in uprooting, transporting, replanting are not necessary maybe here is where we’re meant to be for now. For now it is enough to be here on my patio with the six trees who live here.