Big-Ass Tree

Poem by Jill Rosenthal

Big-Ass Tree

A tree fell over in front of our house –
Big-ass tree – hit two cars,
Knocked the rear window clean out of one.

The next morning, a group of neighbors stood around
Inspecting the damage.
“Too much water” someone said,
Because enormous trees don’t just give up
And tip over in the night.

My daughter said she’d miss the tree
And asked if she could keep a branch.
I reached down and touched a root
Sticking out from the up-ended trunk
Like a tan carrot God pulled out of the ground,
And watched it come apart in my hand.

Jill Rosenthal is a writer of poetry, fiction personal essays, screenplays and film reviews. She taught poetry at UC Berkeley and currently works with at-risk teens through a classic poetry and spoken word program called Get Lit. You can find a collection of her humorous essays here: Woman On The Verge, and view her public performance of an essay about trying to explain sex to her daughter, here: Avoiding Penetration.  When Jill is not writing, she practices law in Los Angeles, California.

Featured Image photograph by E.B. Bartels,

11 thoughts on “Big-Ass Tree”

  1. Nick Taylor says:

    An interesting take on a fairly mundane event in the course of a normal day.

    I like the rhythm of the piece. Jill has some chops!

  2. Harley Jane Kozak says:


  3. harleyjanekozak says:


  4. leatrice cohen says:

    Charming insightful poem- well done!

  5. Shelby Wood says:

    As always, brilliantly put together a beautiful poem / story.

  6. Megan says:

    Love this poem. So accessible, I was taken back by how deep it gets.

  7. Barbara Rothstein says:

    A few words, a lot of heart. A short poem, a long lasting effect. Jill Rosenthal’s ‘big-ass’ poem is the kind of writing that tugs at you all day

  8. Blithe says:

    Beautiful, the simpleness of this writing is so perfect — and tricky.

  9. Jolene says:

    Beautiful. So simple, yet profound and elegant.

  10. Mike Bassick says:

    Love this!

    1. Cheyenne says:

      I want to send you an award for most helpful innteert writer.

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