Poison Tree in New Berlin
By Christopher J. Bradley
3/7/01 6:03:48 PM

2 cars exited from the ramps
One led to New Briton
The other to New Berlin.
I followed the one to New Berlin
And stopped at the edge of the compound.

The structure before me looked like a gatehouse.
I dared not exit the vehicle here.
So I slowly smoked a cigarette
And emptied my ashtray out the window
The car was gone.

Another soon followed down the road
So I revved my engine and followed it in.
They would lead me to my quarters
With the tightest security possible
And when I arrived it was more than I ever could have hoped for.

A house with a big driveway was here
I pulled in and put my cigarette out
The other car was gone in a flash
I stepped out of the car and headed for the door
To look for a manilla envelope packet with a key.

When I opened the door
A political magazine slid out
Written in German
This was not the place for me
But I stood for a moment before leaving.

Before the garage there was a spindling potted tree
The tree had thin leaves
They projected a perfect poisonous shadow
Before the large wooden frame
And the perfectly flat cement driveway pushed up against my shoes.

I desperately tried to weave my way out of that place
But at every turn there was a dead end or a wooden gate
Finally I found the block with the house again
And a kid around seventeen with a sleeveless shirt
Pointed me to the road out.

As I exited I noticed the carefully placed
"Trespassing Is Granted Zero Tolerance" signs
It really is a good thing I didn't panic
And stop at the police or fire stations
For any kind of assistance.

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