The Tree

The tree stands in silent witness.
We do our worst.
It remains a tree.

Even if we cut it down,
Send it to the mill,
Grind the stump,
Sell the planks,

The ground bears
Not only the scar
Of our angry ambition
But the silent witness
Borne by the boughs

Through the currents
Of time,
The sea of breezes
On which it rested
And grew.

There is another scar.
Where before,
Shade and shelter,
Now, bits of bark
And broken leaves:
Barbs of time.

And somewhere else--
Please, let it be near--
A root has taken hold,
A seed,
An idea,
A prayer,

Curling down
Toward the center.

--Mr. Gobley

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