Way Out There
By Mary Christine Delea


                        “Fancy cutting down all those beautiful trees . . . to make pulp
for those bloody newspapers, and calling it civilization.”

                                                                        —Winston Churchill


Imagine cooking tree roots and calling the result a meal.

Pretend to look at the forest and see

flooring, chairs, and book pages.

Imagine yourself pressing tree leaves in those pages.

Close your eyes and picture yourself

killing one tree for the wood to build a tree house

in another tree, and a ladder to climb

to get up to it, where you can stand and look out

the window hole at a forest of trees,

away from people and streets and civilized life.

Fall asleep in that tree house and dream up a new culture

in this place cleared of trees. No one else has ever seen a tree,

so they don’t know what they are missing

out their windows or how all their stuff got built.