Obituary for a Bay Tree
My stately friend is dead—no more that rare, flowering, age-old tree,
its leaves no longer sway in the summer breeze,
no birds nest in its branches, no bird sings,
no squirrel shows its naughty face,
no delicate white flowers, float down like fairy clouds,
to feed the gentle deer browsing about its base,
tragic, doomed loblolly bay tree, gone the way of all living things.
I will, however, let it stand, in spite of its condition—
allowing it to fall, eventually, of its own volition,
to become one with the earth from which it grew!
This tree, too, has become part of me, of my life,
waving its green greeting each day, viewed through my window
its laden branches dealing with nature's strife, wind, rain, cold,
as I dealt with mine and, like me,
its features changing, growing old, with every turn around in time.
Just as with me, some deadly foreign invader
has wormed its way into that strong trunk,
rendering apart the tensile fibers holding it fast.
It cannot last, nor can I!
Yet, if such a tree can die without God shedding tears,
I, too, must not then cry!
When it falls and melds with earth,
I will replace it with a small stone, with sighs—
"Here grew a beautiful bay tree—gone! All nature cries!"
with hopes that, someday, at my demise,
those who loved me, and whom I loved,
will place some modest monument, to read:
"Here lies a woman who truly loved thee,
yet, saved a wee place in her heart for a tree."