Through the withered branches
where the verdant leaves once grew,
I stared up at the old oak tree
against a sky of blue.
The branches stretched to heaven
as a supplicant might do.
It seemed to pray, as if to say,
"My time at last is through."
I wondered at the gnarly trunk
and limbs of twisted wood
And for a moment thought of life
and almost understood.
Life and death go hand in hand.
Our time is our's to spend.
But like the tree against the gale,
‘tis better if we bend.
I'll pay it forward when I can.
Thy brothers' keeper be.
I'll keep the roots well watered
and learn the lessons of the tree.
It shares the world with nestlings
and it's acorns oft abound,
To feed the hungry denizens
that glean them from the ground.
It's leaves give shade to those below.
It's branches form a gym.
Children climb to see the world
and love this gift to them.
And as I watched, the farmer
came and laid the old husk low.
Firewood now, would be it's fate
and make the chimney glow.
Ashes unto ashes and to dust
we must return.
All of life in cycle goes
and from this I hope to learn:
This gift of life to all below,
all creatures great and small,
Is just a stop upon the trip
we travel, one and all.
Inspired by a photo shared by Melissa. Happy Earth Day!