What Happens When You Uproot a Cedar Tree?

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what happens when you uproot a cedar tree?

when the stories kept captive in its trunk lie dormant in the arab spring

what happens when the roots have absorbed the tyranny of those bombs

that were dropped on the daughter of the hills

and the orphans cried into the setting son that was blotted out by collapsing rooftops 

and their limbs

my first-time taking shelter inside the same earth that threatened to swallow us whole

the nakba of her native roots 

cauterized and catastrophized 

25 feet long and lateral 

6 meters into child sized graves

soft soled shoes

the taller the tree the larger the canopy 

the more susceptible to rotting at the inner core of what it means 

to be home 

on high rocky out crops 

outlasting thousands of years of despoil and maraud

only to be plucked from well drained richness 

cardamom and baharat 

crassly left to yield to a foreign wind

into clay soil that is turned by the hands that erase the colors from the piney sprays 

with each gnashing of their grafting blades 

what happens when she is improperly dug

transplanted in a place we can’t hear the sea lapping up against 

morning mugs of nes café and halawa 

the torrid shock is severe

she may end up completely void of the coping required to stay brown  

in wake of drought 

an herbarium of decay 

cedrus libani incorruptible despite 

burning of vestiges of war fought by men who can’t tend to their lies no more 

temples erected by demi gods 

how many times will our memory and land be robbed 

will they use her timber for genocide and fleets

close your doors oh Lebanon 

that the fire may not devour the cedars

that stand holding hands in the forest of god 

still damp from solomon’s solace 

what happens when we rename a cedar 

from Mariam to Mary, reduced by flames 

fair branches and canopy shade

what happens when the last cedar dies abroad 

who will carry her home and bury her in her grandfather’s yard?