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OK 1902

Thursday, December 21, 2006

My father said a tree
Is fifty years growing,
Fifty years living
Fifty years dying.

OK 1902 it said, and it must have been big enough then
to carve on
Big enough to rest the heel of a hand long gone.
These hundred and four years it has been OK

Until today. It lies in pieces in the duff
Broken beneath the lowest living branch.
This is how you find things in the forest.

Is it dead now?
Will its roots go on?
The top came down, snapped the trunk of the tree beside it
A healthy tree, no heartrot there
but dead now, too.
Or: alive at the root.

Where trees are concerned
The exact time of death
is hard to figure.
It is perhaps the point
at which they can't grow back.


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