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  • Jennifer Torres Alcántara


How many times can a tree be transplanted

before it affects its growth?

The shovel going in,

the popping sounds of roots

cracking, breaking, pulling,

and out it comes.

Most of the root ball intact,

but some roots sticking up

from the gaping hole in the dirt.

Separated from the tree,

casualties of the move.

Off the tree goes,

roots wrapped,

traveling to its new home.

Once replanted,

it will need to acclimate to

its foreign surroundings.

Its new soil composition,

new temperature range.

new everything.

Its roots will need to grow

right away.

To anchor the tree into the soil.

To provide the tree water and


They begin to stretch themselves out.

Reaching down into the ground,

growing deep,

yet again,

because unlike people,

trees don’t remember

being uprooted.

by Jennifer Torres Alcántara

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