Anna Halberstadt. ODE TO OLD TREES

On Adamson Road in London
stands an old sycamore with powerful branches,
younger tree trunks look
like a bouquet of trees
or of arms voting
or a creature
reaching out to God in a prayer
a gesture of despair.
People mutilate and kill trees
because they envy their longevity
trees outliving people in relative peace,
if lucky,
birds nesting in their foliage
squirrels hiding their supplies
in the hollows.
Trees had been used for hanging
during revolutions
and killing infants during the Holocaust.
And yet they remain standing
years later
witnessing crimes silently
but also, children running and laughing
playing Hide and Seek under them.
Gourmands searching for precious Boletus mushrooms
in velvet moss
couples whispering words of endearment
and secretly mating
in their cool and protective shade.
We always assumed
plants have no feelings
but guess, do those sequoias
miss the dinosaurs
that used to roam the ancient forest?
And the Hangman’s Elm at Washington Square
did it approve of the Civil War violence?
I read, that there is a pine tree
In Moletai, a small Lithuanian town
where fifteen hundred Jewish children had been murdered.
This tree by the place,
where the pit was
is crooked
with no branches on the side
which was used to
smash baby skulls.
How do we know this pine
has no flashbacks of horror
and doesn’t secretly weep at night ?
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

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