Elegy to Ailanthus Altissima
As trees go, the Ailanthus Altissima, or tree-of-heaven, is not held in very high regard. They aren't as majestic as oaks or noble as elms; they lack the flashiness of maples. In fact, some people think of them as little more than weeds. But i like them: i like most things that can carve out a means of survival in the inhospitable concrete of the city (though i do draw the line at rats and squirrels). For years, i've admired this particular stand of Ailanthus as they clung to existence on a narrow embankment beside the L. They were there this morning, but gone by the end of the day.