Tuesday, April 11, 2017

April 10 - These Trees are Not as Old as Me


These Trees Are Not as Old as Me

We're surrounded by a stand of mighty Douglas Firs.
I felt I was walking in a forest of ancient trees.
Towering overhead, blocking out the sun,
Their tops swaying in a breathy morning breeze.

I had it all in my head, I imagined those giant sentinels
As they look from the ridge down to where Native villages dot
The valley below, smoke curling from their cooking fires
The evening meal simmering in the village cooking pot.

So when a big one toppled to the ground, riddled
By woodpeckers, cut down sawed up by some guys,
The neighbors hired to take it safely to the ground.
If fell my lot to chop it into firewood where it lies.

Eagerly I counted up the rings so clearly on display,
I expected to count for a while, but it was not to be.
I counted once, then unbelieving twice and thrice again.
And to my dismay the fallen giant ain't but forty-three.

Why I've underpants as old as that. What a disappointment,
To discover all my ancient trees are but children next to me.
I suppose I shouldn't romanticize the plant life like that.
Lest the harsh light of truth deflate my wildwood fantasies.

And I wonder in all the time they've been here,
Growing firm in place these mighty massive trees,
I wonder what my rootless wanderings have cost
And have these old trees grown up more than me.

© 2017 by Tom King

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