It's A Tree's Life

Below is my poetic take on a story written by my friend,

Jeannette Erter, with permission:

Here are the remains of one mighty tree

If you look very closely you will see

Abundant character from when it grew free

Buried as part of a squirrel’s winter store,

Forgotten, it grew a century before.

Dead just a year, became part of our lore.

The rings ‘cross its width tell of good years and bad’

Revealing the floods and the droughts that we’ve had.

Reminding everyone to rejoice and be glad.

It stood here solidly growing so grand

Its shade well placed for victory garden stands,

While soldiers marched off to long distant lands

Warring just passed, a generation grew up

Dancing and jiving to rock & roll pop

While robins were swinging near the tree top

Under its bark insects made their bed

Woodpeckers could peck, peck, peck and be fed

While ‘coons up high escape hounds in their dread

A restless generation passed under its boughs

Swatting their hands at countless mosquitoes

Not noticing the bats hung up by their toes

Seventy-five years now the tree has seen spring

Writing its history deep on each ring

Thin ones and thick, when cut it will sing

A teacher, like yours, so wanted to hear

What all of her students had learned that year

Assigned each write this tree’s tale to share

From the death and decay of a branch in its bole

A barred owl nested in the tree’s perfect hole

till time and disease had taken its toll

A century and more has now passed from time

The tree, now a snag, hosts many more kinds

Mushrooms and insects you will surely find

these are remains of a once mighty tree

If you look very closely you may just see

Abundant character from when it grew free



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© 2016-2020 by Janine Clark-Barry