“You don’t want trees,” the appraiser said,
“You need to cut them down
To increase the value of your home.
Because if you have trees
You will will have leaves
That will fall and clog your gutters, litter your lawn
And blanket your garden.
You will need to climb ladders,
To rake and bag and and haul off
Leaves by the thousands.
You will worry when the wind is strong
And the trees bend and sometimes break
And their twigs and branches will fall
And need to be picked up
So you can mow your perfect green lawn.
You will have birds dropping their waste,
Streaking your windshields and decks.
You will have pollen in the spring
That coats your car and deck with fuzzy green
And makes you sneeze
He is right, of course.
If you have trees you will have leaves,
Soft green in spring deepening and ripening
To emerald in summer, gold and ruby in fall.
You will have blossoms that perfume the air
and bear forth good fruit.
You will have shade for summer picnics,
Kindling for your fire,
Mulch for your gardens.
You will watch your trees sway and dance in the wind,
As graceful as any dancer, as sturdy as any man-built thing.
You will have pen-and-ink lines
Drawn stark and graceful
Against cold winter skies,
Sometimes outlined in snowy white
Or icy, icy crystal.
You will have birds,
Cardinals and robins and chickadees,
Bluejays and wrens and sparrows
And you will watch the birds court, build their nests,
And raise their young to fly, fly, fly
If you have trees.