When it comes to war, no one is a winner. A few years ago on Memorial Day, I wanted some alone time and found myself walking through a neighborhood open space. Our area had been hit by a devastating storm, and I observed the damage that 80-120 mph winds can do. To quote an over-used cliché, it looked like a war zone. I wrote this poem when I returned from my walk. These fallen trees reminded me of those who fight in war zones and lose everything from their innocence to their lives. Their loved ones suffer loss along with them. We owe all of them a debt of gratitude.
Three Fallen Trees
Memorial Day, 2010
A khaki-colored leafless tree, mid-way in life,
branches folded toward its trunk
(neat and tidy, as if it volunteered to fall),
lies peacefully upon an open meadow,
uninformed of its final fate.
Only the base, snapped clean and quick
from the isolated, earth-bound stump,
alludes to the strength of a violent end.
A courageous tree with one arm shattered
drags it on the shaded ground below.
Sunlight finds me through its jagged break.
A few miraculous green fingers,
grasping the tips of nearly lifeless branches,
reach out and brush my shoulder,
whisper with a sudden gentle breeze:
This is my desperate effort to survive.
The slender white carcass of a stately tree,
stripped by its fall of every branch,
roots exposed to capricious elements,
bark worn off by the fleeting years,
like a wooden soldier,
lies between the snake-like roots
of pristine, leaf-filled, innocent youth,
a sacrifice to future generations.
Copyright 2013 by Laurel Jean Becker
In the Heart of a Quiet Garden
Finishing Line Press