The Tree is Farther to the Man

by Bill Yarrow


What a tree you are! Look at your girth, your spread, your leaves.
Look at your talented branches, your perfect bark. Even your roots
are not hidden from our view. Like May dolphins in the Indian Ocean,
they peek playfully from the ground, signs of stolid accomplishment.
O what a marvelous tree you are. Amazing tree! Outstanding tree!


I don't think I can stand up straight one second more.  My roots are
exhausted. My bark feels dead. My branches have advanced in so
many ill-considered directions, I am lost in the map of their ancestry.
I am constricted by rings. The weight of self crushes me. Woodpeckers,
worms, spider mites, and scullery bugs crave my pulp. I long to fall.


I will strike the tree and smash it. It will splinter under my sharp fist.
It will topple. It shall not stand. All its branches will lie in horrifying squalor.


I have photographed the tree in its infancy, maturity, old age, and decline.
Now, I will photograph the tree in its demise, upended in swart disarray.