Benjamin Percy

Benjamin Percy is the author of a novel, The Wilding, and two books of short fiction, Refresh, Refresh and The Language of Elk. He is a regular contributor to Esquire. His honors include a Whiting Award, the Plimpton Prize, and a Pushcart Prize. He teaches in the MFA program at Iowa State University.

The Tree

The story begins when a pinecone raises its knuckles and abandons its nuts, losing them to the birds and the chipmunks and the wind, only one of them taking hold in the earth. This is in spring, after the powdery…