An Autumn storm stripped you.
“Is tree dying?” my daughter asked.
You were both very young.
For seventeen years I have watched over you-
watched your shadow in the streetlight
edge further abroad,
your branches stretch and brush
the walls of another home.
When you were small I cut the stake
that tethered you,
stripped away the creeping ivy
that strangled you,
tended the lacerations
that scarred you,
Raked the leaves that you shed like tears
when the cold came.
And in return, each Spring birthday,
I swam in cherry blossom scent.
I’ve watched you both grow and change
but now she’s gone- uprooted.
(c) Paul Warnes