Big Trees

Big Trees

I find something reassuring 
in big trees, the ones that asked
no one’s permission when
they sprouted from the ground 
a hundred or a thousand 
years ago.

I would not know, unless one fell,
what endless dramas its rings 
might hold in memory―but I can dream:

I dream up years of plenty, 
like a child’s picture book, a happy spring, 
no lack of rain or sun,
the trunk swells thick and leaves unfurl, 
a perfect watercolor form 
against a vernal paradise.

I imagine waves of drought, 
bark pinches tight and stunts 
new growth in self-protection; 
primal instincts ration resources,
save strength, repeat the mantra: 
less today, to live tomorrow.

I think of rings made dark by fires 
borne too near on winds 
that tear apart illusions of control,
tickle its trunk,
flicker across its branches, 
char its shell but somehow 
leave its life intact.

I see ivy in its stealth attack
creep up and snack 
on that strong trunk, 
drape leafy arms across 
those branches casually,
like a false friend.

In all these dreams 
I like to think these trees 
could thrive millennia 
beyond our human lives,
and stand, and stay, 
reminding us that
some things do survive.

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