By Nature I Grow
Unfortunate I am to be
an old London street tree
planted at the turn of
the 20th Century
Early years, Oh joy to recall!
Growing straight, standing tall
Branches reaching towards the sky
echoing, shape on shape.
The winds, when blowing through tested
my supple branches, trunk and roots.
I played with the air and threw joy around.
People passing through my summer shade,
admired my golden leaves in autumn,
my flowing winter skeleton.
I loved them, spoke to them
and they to me. Humans and tree,
comfort and joy to each other were we.
It started though, it was long ago.
I had fully grown by then,
and along came a group of men.
With ladders and ropes
they climbed in my branches.
Then the horror began.
They pollarded me.
Early springtime that first year
I was in terrible pain and the sap ascending
to the tips I could still feel,
stopped at the sawn off stumps.
My roots and my heart could not connect.
My wounds smarted.
My anger and terror augmented
by my ugly tormented shape.
Somehow I managed.
By nature I grow.
Small twigs and shoots
got clothed with leaves.
That summer I healed and the
Autumn gold and red and yellow
soothed my soul.
I began to forgive and smiled again
at humans, as friends
Winter undress I felt rather sad
but I was proud, my recovery
The Spring air returned and my soul
burned with life and newness….
Hells bells and buckets of blood!
They came back those men,
with their ropes and ladders.
They cut and hacked me back
to last years scars.
The shock this time was worse.
Unbelieving I cursed each
person as they walked by
and withdrew my care for the sun and the sky.
Dark anger and depression held me sway
and misery gripped me day by day.
By nature I grow
and grow I did.
New twigs and shoots, new Spring leaves.
Summer breeze and then Autumn winds
blew hollow through my frame.
No sway, no joy.
I never felt my feet again.
Each Spring the same,
The years have been many.
Now hatred takes my spirit
down streets at night and curses I spit
on humans who blight the bright