All morning the tree men have been taking down the stricken elms skirt-
ing the broad sidewalks.
The pitiless electric chain saws whine tirelessly up and down their pierc-
ing, operatic scales
and the diesel choppers in the street shredding the debris chug feverishly,
packing truckload after truckload with the feathery, homogenized, inert
remains of heartwood,
twig and leaf and soon the block is stripped, it is as though illusions of
reality were stripped:
the rows of naked facing buildings stare and think, their divagations more
urgent than they were.
“The winds of time,” they think, the mystery charged with fearful clarity:
“The winds of time…”
All afternoon, on to the unhealing evening, minds racing, “Insolent, uncon-
scionable, the winds of time…”