Monday, August 6, 2018

its dominating solemnity

The Big Poplar slips away

my granddaughter and I 
cross-country up the hollow
amidst ubiquitous drizzle,
every leaf wet and dripping,

high summer lies upon these slopes,
with stinging nettle up to my chest,
jewel weed up to my chin,
the surface for my feet hard to fathom,

the holes in the canopy from the Great Fire
add exuberant growth to obscure the way,

at the Big Poplar, poke weed fouls its base,
have their seeds really waited hundreds of years for this chance?
the great tree no longer has leaves to touch the Sun,

its bark starts to flake off,

it is of death now, 
not the last remembering of life I’d hoped for,

this great tree spanned centuries,
and I will miss the dominating solemnity of its living presence.

by Henry H. Walker
August 2, ‘18

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