The Receding Tree Line


We moved in seven years ago,
big house on a corner lot.
When we came back then,
scrub prairie was our neighbor.

The pasture lay across the street,
growing out to the curb,
dead grass and brown weeds,
West Texas at our door.

I liked I could see trees,
mesquite and cottonwood mix.
Taking comfort woods were close,
reminder of my rural roots.

Sometimes in late evening,
Texas stars shining bright,
I’d smell a skunk going by,
nostalgic stink of small town nights.

But the tree line has faded,
like a balding man’s hair line.
Now houses stacked in rows,
block my view of chaparral.

The subdivision has grown,
an infestation multiplied.
Wherever I look, I see houses,
copycat patterns meld to sprawl.
I feel my roots are cut,
as downtown rolls over me.

By Carl Wade Thompson

houses and wind farm beside natural area


Carl Wade Thompson is a poet, essayist, and the graduate writing tutor at Texas Wesleyan University. He has published poetry and memoir essays in The Mayo Review, The Concho River Review, One in Four, Anak Sastra, The Galway Review, The Blue Collar Review, Piker Press, The Eunoia Review, Blue Minaret, Nebo Literary Magazine, Alphelion Literary Webzine, and Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas. He lives on the outskirts of Fort Worth, Texas. His poems explore the link between the urban and the rural.

Photo by Sergey Kohl

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