Deep in a quiet woods,
natural seating provided
by a forked and bent tree,
I close my eyes and listen
to large flakes of snow
Are trees aware?
I often wonder, especially
when I see a once-majestic tree
reduced to a trunk and stubbed
branches by a “Tree Surgeon.”
Does it cry for what it lost?
During my teenage years
I lived with my parents
on eight acres in the country.
We had hundreds of trees:
Oak, Hickory, Persimmon, Maple,
Sycamore, Sassafras, Pine,
and I mustn’t forget the Dogwoods.
One of our trees, and I don’t
remember what kind it was,
forked a little over three feet
above the ground. One fork
stood perfectly straight up;
the other was horizontal for
about two feet before it turned up.
Father wanted to cut it down,
but I begged him to leave it standing.
He looked it over, found no weakness,
and finally agreed to leave it alone.
I called it my “Chair Tree”.
Sometimes, when my chores were done,
I would go sit in that tree
to think and to dream of the future.
That day is five decades behind me now,
but I still remember it well.
If that tree is still standing,
and if trees are aware,
I hope it knows that once upon a time
there was a boy who loved it enough
to give it a chance to live and grow.
Winter Hush / December 10, 2005
Chair Tree / December 16, 2019