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The Line Tree

Sunday, January 14, 2007


It is odd to find
This rotten base, live wood curled over it
A hard scar, rolling in slow motion
Over the lifeless trunk.
I come closer to see.

Is this what trees do?
Do they seal off the wound
with living tissue
Get on with growing
Let the hopeless core remain?

It will go hollow one day
When the dead part has crumbled away
A home for animals
Quick claws clicking in the trunk.
One choice, tree: Grow, or die.
There will be a gnawing within.

I look closer, muddy clean knees
rooting for the why of it.
Here: The wire.
This good tree
a helpless fencepost
Sixty years later
Still paying for a man's careless moment.

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