Old friend tree

5.17.2020 [Old friend tree]

Old friend tree laid down today
in the middle of the night, in
the middle of rain and dark and
a quiet slip over when too much
weight and soft soil combined
to say it is done.

We’d noticed the white of
his bones showing through of late
his bark striped up along several

It was on his ancient deer stand prop
from before we arrived — before developers
had dredged up his wetlands
to sell another yard — that our boys climbed
and sat to read a book.

We go down like that, in the middle of
something else… the middle of a night,
the middle of a sentence, in the middle
of a step to turn around and… and just stop.

He lay down. maybe it was she. or
perhaps tree didn’t mind or care or
even know about pronoun matters.
the he she is for us, to make it clear
that we felt a relationship and that it
was a friend.

When we looked up we thought, well
it’s on that other guy’s land really, he’s
the one who’ll have to saw it up and
clear away. No bother on our end, we’d
just let it be, lying there, propped against
the other trees that partially broke its
fall, just like the long stretches of
decaying angled oldsters in the
woods at the other end of our yard

I think of them as old boys too,
marking the path we all take at
some point. stopped, dropped
and still marking as we lean into
those around us who in holding us up now
remind us of what was and will be
and that it’s alright… all right.

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