Elegy for a Fir Tree

Douglas Fir Coming Down

A

Douglas Fir

in our backyard

has died.

Its picture perfect

posture

drew the eye heavenward

through needles and cones

up its narrowing spine

Toward Infinity.

The grandfather of the homestead

made the blue sky coy as it played peek-a-boo

through thin as angel wing foliage.

Now the tree is dead and gone.

Beetles made a weakened old man their target.

Boring through layers of skin, the invaders left behind

ravenous offspring who feasted on the old man’s vascular system

until the fatal stroke occurred. His complexion faded from green to yellow to brown

to ashen gray.

This death does not go down easily, yet is the way of things.

Impermanence.

He had a long life.

He shaded and

inspired. Avian

families nested

in his steadfast

arms. A stump

memorializes

where he lived

and died and

will live again.

For even death

is ultimately

impermanent.

Resurrection

in the form of

compost for

whipper snappers

who barely got to

know him in his final

year. In their roots,

stems, leaves, flowers

and fruit, the old man

will find a new lease on life.

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