Iowa Writes

The Tree

Joe Two Feathers came out of his house and looked solemnly at the broken windshield of the Western Electric truck. Then he put his hand on the huge limb of white oak embedded in the roof of the truck and turned to the uniformed man who was still holding his chainsaw.

Joe said softly, "Did you say a prayer before you cut it like I asked you to?"

The man looked down while he answered. "No, I didn't. But I guess I will next time."

"That's a good idea," Joe said, "because you kill a lot of trees."

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting


This poem originally appeared in Volume 4, Number 6 of 100 Words, a journal published by The University of Iowa's International Writing Program between 1993 and 1998. Each piece in the journal had to be 100 words or fewer, and each issue had a theme. This issue's theme was "On Fate."

This page was first displayed
on February 16, 2009

Find us on Facebook