Before You Carry Me Away


Before You Carry Me Away

My long branches lie here,
smelling strongly, freshly cut.
My splintered self, like so
many broken bones,
a tangle of yellow-green-brown,
in the afternoon sun.

Empty nests
hidden in my branches,
tumbled down as
I fell in thunderous thuds.

Never again to burst forth spring’s green,
nor provide respite in summer’s heat.
My reds, fallen for the last time,
will never feel the warmth
of blanketed snow.
My seasons have ceased.

It wasn’t old age or decay,
nor your own need of heat,
but only for the sake of
your convenience
did you steal,
breaking down my beauty
into tiny bits of timber,

that tremble
in the fading
of my last
setting sun.

(Originally appeared in The Wayfarer)