"A Conversation with Trees"
Exhibition at Visual Arts Center
of New Jersey, Spring 2017.

Elegy for an Oak Leaf after the Gypsy Moth Invasion

I am trying.

It was hot and you were thirsty.
In a deafening roar a militia of mouths bit into your newly green flesh.
And later – twice as many wings aloft,
a fluttering swirling orgy.
In its wake lay yellow felty sacks
for next year.
And you – small and mishapen – pocked with holes,
persisted through two seasons
until you fell.

In the now-barren woods I come walking and pick you up.
I hold you in my hands and I am trying,
I am trying to make you whole again.
But – of course – you know.
I know.
It is already too late.
And it isn't even pretty.

The gypsy moth is gonna do what the gypsy moth is gonna do.
And the leaf is gonna do what the leaf is gonna do.
And I – with scissors and glue – cannot do what I so want to do.

Alice Momm, 2016