A Murder in the Making


treesmarkedfordeathOutside the window, I see two trees marked for death. Through the screen, I see bright orange ribbons circling their trunks, signaling their impending demise. I do not know when, nor whether, their euthanasia has been scheduled, but I know people, my neighbors, plan the taking of their lives. The reasons for their death sentences are scattered on the ground around them; their leaves. “They shed leaves on the roof,” my neighbor told me. And they lean a little too much toward the house, he says, implying they might one day fall and damage the house or kill its inhabitants or both. When men with chain saws take those trees down, the view outside my window will change. The house across the street and a few lots down will be more visible, more intrusive. I wonder if I might stretch two wires between two other trees, the one nearest and the one to the left of one of the victims, and affix a fabric screen to them to block the view? Would I need a permit to do that? Or do I have more control over my own yard than that? What would my neighbors think if I blocked my view of their house? And would it matter what they think? Of course it would. Or not.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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