Thursday, April 4, 2019

On a rise from the river

On a rise from the river
it resides, an aging sentinel
amidst the scrawny upstarts,
stubbornly resisting time
floods disease wind storm
insects rodents humanity
competition from brethren

and it stand, slightly leaning

The ranger estimates age
at 200, a guess as good as any 
because the alternative
is to kill it and count
the rings. It sprouted
when Monroe was
President, a steamship
crossed the Atlantic, 
Californians and Texans
spoke Spanish. It witnessed
Indian tribes battle settlers,
a territory become a state,
a Civil War. Still it grew.
It prospered on this bank
of a small river, bathing
in overflows only

I don’t need to know
its age precisely; I measure
being a tree hugger and
measuring the trunk 
fingertips to fingertips. 
It take three sets of me
to wrap my arms barely 
but completely around.
That’s old, I reckon.

The editors of Tweet6speak Poetry are hosting a 30-Day, 30-Poem Challenge for Earth Month entitled, appropriately enough, Poetic Earth Month. Today, the featured poem is “Back” by L.W, Willingham, and the poetry prompt is to write a poem that ages a tree by memory.

1 comment:

L.L. Barkat said...

I like the idea of measuring by the span of your own hug.

(That's quite a history that tree has "seen.")