Pollarded!

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.

 

Chop, saw

 

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

was legend.

 

The Spring air returned and my soul

burned with life and newness….

 

but

 

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,

again,

again.

 

The years have been many.

 

Now hatred takes my spirit

down streets at night and curses I spit

on humans who blight the bright

good earth.

 

 

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One Response to Pollarded!

  1. Brilliant! Every time I walk down Woodstock Road and see the butchered trees I’ll think of your words. You should do a book of poems and self-publish it . . .

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