Dropped leaves and a plastic water bottle rest on twigs and seedpods

She shades the top tier of the four-level parking garage.
Forty of her big-leaved children line the crack where
foundation meets sidewalk.
In the adjacent lot
her branch that occupied two parking spaces
gone today.

The root-heaved blacktop still rises, breaks, in
deep shade under dry tree detritus and
a green-and-white Newport flip-top pack,
a two-ounce bourbon bottle (empty), broken stemware,
a gallon plastic milk jug, and
dropped pale lavender fluted flowers.

Lavender flute or trumpet shapes like these fell on
a bed of curling ferns under the Paulownia that grew
where I walked a damp mountain path.
She, too, was tall.
And she had scattered children, but widely, on
roadside verges that offered light and space.
Her smooth graceful trunk lifted slender branches like raised arms,
reaching hands, palms open to sky,
her trunk barely marred where she dropped limbs
as she ascended above oaks and maples toward sun.

This one's rough, deep-scarred trunk squats
and spreads fat boles out sideways.
Parking meters are no competition for sun that bakes her,
the asphalt, concrete, brick, roof metal, window glass.
No coolness in her shade where I walk,
but maybe some, where upper leaves touch shutters
of the law office across the alley.
May be that cool shade is why she's still here,
minus one low branch.

I hope she stays.
Though that will mean witnessing her children's deaths
by herbicide
that I see coming,
uncertain when.
I also see, resting on dropped leaves and twigs,
lavender flutes and trumpets heralding new children,
certain as Spring.