I stood near you
Hidden by your girth
Safe as though in an embrace.
For there was little else to be known.
I knew not then that you would go
How could I?
For you were there before.
Your presence preceded mine
But now my gaze will watch you fall before ’tis time.
On the ground you shall lay
This would not have been, had nature had its way.
The ways of man are confounding indeed
And the mark of greed is such
It erases all
Even the one who did the deed; (Forget ye not).
Felled when you shall be
Empty space will your presence hold
Like it held your form
My eyes however will lose the awe
With which I looked up high
To see birds swing on your branches
And squirrels scuttle along
The owl, the parakeet,
And the coppersmith barbet, busy carving out a hole.
No wings have I,
But with tiny hands of a little girl I touched the surface of your bark
Your cork-the cells, my skin-the pores became one.
You and I, the large and small
Our truth it is the same
You will be gone, I bid you farewell. I too shall be gone someday.
May life beneath your bark not quiver
Your roots may they not cringe.
May you depart with dignity
That was yours while you stood tall.