My yard was always filled with roots
knotted in unconceivable ways,
always stemming back to the pines
from which they came.
The grandest gripping roots
lead to a twenty-five foot red pine
which stood directly next to the
smaller of its kind.
Its arms, always protected
the younger from snow, sleet
and the blistering sun
during the summer months.
But on a distinct fall day,
the pine’s roots began to retreat
back to its feet, slowly slithering away
from where the others lay.
It's branches did the same,
descending down to the trunk,
rapidly wilting, it's caressing hands
no longer kept the promise once took.
That eve, in the bend of a bare branch lean,
necrosis from outside influence,
festering fungi and insects,
bubbled an unexpected illness.
Creeping, crawling, parasitic pressure
cracked bark and tore ramus connections.
Giving way, its once mighty arms,
crashed and smashed falling apart.
No one knew of the metastasized wound,
only that their protector was there
in decent health, in loom of
the discovery of the crude truth.
The passage of time
consumed the pine,
it's contents returned to the ground,
absorbed by its younger kind.
My yard is still tangled in roots,
not a change since the fall day of decay.
The pines continue to grow,
with lessons taught from their mother's bones.