This poplar tree and I have grown up together and even though it’s debatable whether I have always made the life of those around me beautiful, I can testify that this poplar tree has always made the lives of those around it more beautiful by diligently hiding the ugliness of concrete across from our flat.
Strange as it may sound, some neighbours never liked it for it litters their verandas every spring with its white fluff and there have been times in the past when they had called the municipality to send workers to come and cut it down. It was at those times I remember my mother, a tiny woman with an imposing voice, marching down to the poplar tree’s defence to stop the workers by threatening them to call Greenpeace…wanting to protect anything natural, especially in a city drowning in cement, should be the most natural thing in the world but my mom always looked like some crazy bag lady shouting and waving her hands about to the exasperation of innocent workers who “had orders” and “did she think they wanted to cut it down?” My mom always won in the end, for who wants to mess with the crazy lady, so the poplar still grows strong.
It turns out the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. This morning it was I who marched out to the veranda to defend our green companion when I heard chainsaws gnawing at branches outside. It turned out they were only cutting branches that had grown close to the electric wires which is understandable, but since I don’t trust our neighbours I kept an eye on the workers to make sure they did not chop off any more than necessary…
Poplar - Neighbours: 1 - 0
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