All The Trees Gone
All those great welcoming trees behind our house,
Binsley Poplars felled in 1879,
Carted them away in big-bellied hearses,
Cremains hurtling down the diesel-smelly highway
To be mixed with glue and particle-boarded
“O if we knew but what we do
When we delve or hew”
Nothing is ever lost – except the grandeur, the life,
The peace, the birds, the oaks,
What paid silent witness to us, our lives
“When we hew or delve:
After-comers cannot guess the beauty been.
Ten or twelve, only ten or twelve
Strokes of havoc unselve
The sweet especial scene”
Such needless phantom pain each time
We gaze out windows to where they stood,
Calculated the scurrying prey. All gone
Woodpeckers gathering and storing acorns.
And a dozen other screeching flying flames.
Some limped from brushes with the traffic,
Over fearlessly foraging fawns.
We learned of migration from towhees,
Are we to lose our family –
Awakening us each day with plaintive love songs?
Each year when a new family marched single file
They were “Dan, Marilyn, and Kids.”
The most difficult for me to sit through its writing.
How simple next year or in centuries hence
Such a sin of omission I will not commit
All that we’ve had. All that we’ve lost.
“Not spared, not one”
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