My neighbors have a tree
Long ago, when the tree was young,
They let it grow, and every summer
it became beautiful and bushy
its leaves a shelter for bats
who would fly out under the streetlamp
and eat at night

Then the tree got older
and they began trimming it each year
taming it back so it didn’t get bushy
and the bats have never returned

Every fall, I look at the tree
knowing it will soon be cut back
and that as it gets older
it will be tamed more and more
even as it gets stronger