POEM: The Bones of Trees


(c) Nisaba Merrieweather, 2010

A fuzz of green leaves is pretty enough
But the bones of trees, the stripped skeletal
Most honest form of the thing,
All the flesh stripped right back,
Is the most basic honesty of the tree.

Each season is a single systolic thump
In the life of a tree, a single
Gasp of air, a single pounding thought.

Human flesh is so ephemeral.
Its systolic thumping so rapid
That a human hardly starts thinking
Before it dies. But the tree
Watches centuries pass, castles rise and fall,

And still stands, a silent sentinel
Stretched out over a silent earth.
And stripped bare, showing every last bone,
The tree has a lasting grace
That outlasts the comings and goings
Of the years, and of the leaves.

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