a tree doesn’t die all at once
it dies every day
after the buzz saw leaves
and the chipper
and the air is still
and the sawdust chokes the grass
long branches once soft
now wounds open to the air
a squirrel dashes up to his nest
only to find nothing
as the softness once gave
so does the hard scape take
every day the tree dies
I am dying
tree by tree
Maybe I was wrong to base my cure on beauty. But, after all, everyone does. We are all soothed by beauty - a beautiful day, a beautiful sky, ocean, dog, child, garden, trees. Softness. It's terrible when beauty is taken from us. A friend told me that she used to live next door to a pretty yellow cottage situated in a grove of trees with rabbits running all around. Softness. The homeowner decided one day to cut down all the trees - 18 of them! Then painted the house grey.
I'm so over designer grey.
The tree in the image is still standing, though severely cut back. I posted this pre-trimming photo to illustrate its softness and exquisite beauty.
The other trees were not so lucky and indeed neither was I. By the time the screeching chipper was done, we were left with telephone poles. (What happens when your neighbors don't care.) The trees are still alive, but their nutrition and health will be compromised - less food, less strength, less softness, less joy.
I tried to tell myself, ok, it's done, they're gone, it's over - but it wasn't over! Every day I died a
little more each time I looked at the open wounds of the missing branches. Hard scape takes. Softness gives.
Again, perhaps in the current scheme of things, a minor blip. But, if you care, then you care and there's no where to go and isn't it now of all times when we need the softness, the giving breath and beauty of trees?
I came from a place where people put down tar so they won't have to work too hard. My own family buried a beautiful sparkling blue refreshing pool because they were too lazy to swim in it!
I choose beauty. I choose beauty.
©Patricia Goodwin, 2020
(tree photo by ourcirca1650cottage)
Patricia Goodwin is the author of When Two Women Die, about Marblehead legends and true crime and its sequel, Dreamwater, about the Salem witch trials and the vicious 11-year-old pirate Ned Low. Holy Days is her third novel, about the sexual, psychological seduction of Gloria Wisher and her subsequent transformation. Her latest novel is Low Flying, about two women suffering psychologically abusive marriages who find and nurture each other. Her newest poetry books are Telling Time By Apples, And Other Poems About Life On The Remnants of Olde Humphrey Farme, illustrated by the author, and JavaLove: Poems of a Coffeehouse.
Within this blog, Patricia writes often about non-fiction subjects that inspire or disturb her, hopefully informing and inspiring people to be happy, healthy and free. With plenty of beautiful trees.