I watched a tree die – a poem

I watched a tree die – a poem

Coffee at a cafe. Across the street a van pulls up.
Men jump out. We watch as they hoist a cable around a palm tree.
A man in a yellow cap and shorts climbs the ladder.
The chainsaw roars. The tree is sliced.
In three minutes, the palm tree half-dead.
In eight, only shredded remains.

I’ve walked under that tree hundreds of times;
played around it when a child. A tear wells.

The men brush bits from the sidewalk, roughly.
They jump into the van. Storm off down the street.

I turn to Hubby, cappuccino froth caught on his chin.
“Aren’t you afraid of being snuffed out like that?

I stifle a sob. “Darling,” his hand warm on my knee.
“This is all you’ve to worry about.” He taps my chest.

My sweater black, in white words reads, I like today.
Still, I thought about the tree all night—
perhaps I was the only person mourning it.


June 13, 2018


About This Poem

I know there is no death or dying—our energy simply returns back to source. But the way this tree died broke my heart. No blessing. No gratitude for its shade, oxygen, or beauty. Just quick killing. Sweep up the debris, and onto the next tree to chop down … I think the tree was older than me. I’ve walked under it hundreds of times on my afternoon walks with Hubby, and, as children, we used to run around and sit under it.

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