Planted side by side, 12 trees
Once lined the drive, up
to our home where we live-
where we rest, work, play, cry.
Eighteen years they framed our periphery.
Markers of majesty, preceding
the front entry
like medieval trumpet players would announce
Our kingdom was humble save for the long line
of towering trees
elegant and silent.
Never wavering or shedding.
for baby showers, pre-school parties, sixth grade graduation gatherings.
A landmark distinguishing
Once, the car collided with tree number 10.
Took out the lower section of branch like a tooth that’s been pulled.
Left a flower-shaped hollow in my bumper.
Both remain for all to
And once, the little-tykes car was saved from the ten-foot drop
by tree number three
when the toddlers reigned.
But last week the downpour
drenched the earth
around tree number nine-
the lowest and first in line.
Like a relentless battering ram
the wind slammed!
Tore her from the ground.
Ransacked her roots
til her thirty foot body fell
Barricading the driveway.
She lay, still-
until I found her with my rear tires.
I didn’t know.
Yesterday we lost her to the chainsaw.
Placed her in a rented trash bin
Her severed roots, twisted
and bundled round a mound of dirt-
perch above the gaping hole-
a gutted soul-
like a tombstone.
Doused by storm
she soaked in the water
like a cistern.
Blocked the wind
like a frontline soldier absorbs the first fire during battle-
Fulfilled her position as Protector
of trees 1-8 and 10-12.