It’s lovely, isn’t it? Majestic…branches spreading heavenward, shade spilling across the front lawn, obscuring the house and dramatically decreasing the temperature inside.

Appearances can be deceiving…

It’s dying. We’ve lost many branches over the past few weeks and the interior of the tree is rotting. One more big storm and it’s coming down. We’ve been parking closer to the barn…but we can’t move the house.

So…it must come down.

Is it silly to be so attached to a tree? I’ll probably cry when they cut it down. I know, I know…nothing compared to the tears I’d shed should it fall on the house, car or, God forbid, one of the children.

But I’ll miss the birds that nest in it’s branches. I’ll miss the shade that falls over my bedroom. I’ll miss the little fairy house that’s nestled at it’s base. I’ll miss the brightly hued leaves that decorate my lawn in the fall. I’ll miss the snow laden boughs in the winter.

It will be no small task to take down a tree this size. The roots run deep, the branches span many feet…given the many years this mighty giant has been growing, it will take more than a couple men to safely remove it. Sometime this week…

On Killing A Tree

It takes much time to kill a tree,
Not a simple jab of the knife
Will do it. It has grown
Slowly consuming the earth,
Rising out of it, feeding
Upon its crust, absorbing
Years of sunlight, air, water,
And out of its leprous hide
Sprouting leaves.

So hack and chop
But this alone won’t do it.
Not so much pain will do it.
The bleeding bark will heal
And from close to the ground
Will rise curled green twigs,
Miniature boughs
Which if unchecked will expand again
To former size.

The root is to be pulled out-
Out of the anchoring earth;
It is to be roped, tied,
And pulled out-snapped out
Or pulled out entirely,
Out from the earth-cave,
And the strength of the tree exposed,
The source, white and wet,
The most sensitive, hidden
For years inside the earth.

Then the matter
Of scorching and choking
In sun and air,
Browning, hardening,
Twisting, withering,

And then it is done.

-Gieve Patel