Walter’s Plan – Shale Preston

Walter’s Plan

I have been spray-painted with a number
I stood on Northbourne Avenue for many years
I speak of myself in the past tense
Because I am the last to go and
All of the others like me
Close to five hundred
Have been cut down and chopped up
In the interests of 13 stops in 24 minutes
The advertisements
On the hoardings in front of me say
Capital Metro
Move Live Grow
It was apparently
All part of Walter’s 1912 plan
They claim that over 200 of us were sickly, failing and unviable
And in time we will all be replaced
By a more appropriate and elegant variety of Eucalypt
There are always justifications ranging from insects to fungus
But all too soon my branches will no longer caress the warm blue sky
And my leaves will cease to dance to the rhythms of the wind