The old tree stood marked with two great slashes
of an orange X. Insect- riddled and storm torn, such
a lean to it that leaves trailed in the lake like fingers
testing the water. A huge tree, it gave shade to tadpoles
as they busied themselves into frogs. Turtles rested
on its long roots jutting out of the shallows to find sun.
I placed my hand on the rough bark, and imagined
myself kin to the grief of its passing. Foolish, perhaps,
but I promised that I’d remember it as if the tree needed
my consolation, as if we held the same idea of what
living or aging or dying means.
Three summers since the tree was cut down.
No trace is left. Now cattails and purple pickerel
grow thick at the edges. When I walk there, I take
a moment and breathe in the tang of water as I look
over the old tree’s fine view, and remember.
Top photo: Bigstock