© 2018 Barbara Grace Lake

 

I rose from sediment and mold
Two thousand years ago and more
I fought with elements, made war
Against all forces, known-unknown
Those animals whose step would crush,
A bolt of lightning’s blasting fire

Colossal creatures near my grove,
Perhaps unseen, oh let them pass
They’re huge, so big and I’m so small
A giant foot directly up
It’s coming down. It’s crushing me
Down into earth. I’m smothering

All living things are running wild
The lightning, thunder deafening
I smell the scorch of burning trees
Not me, not yet, please let me grow
A bolt of hell fire strikes the ground
My branches burn. It hurts, it hurts

The river’s rising to my feet
I send out roots to hold the mud
But can they grasp? No! One let go
And now another one. Dig deep
Entrench, hold mud, hold earth, hold tight
If not our life will wash away

Two thousand years and more I’ve lived
To grow immense. three hundred feet
My shady paths give life to ferns
Green carpet grows abundantly
When looking up men cannot doubt
They’ve sensed a godlike majesty

My girth provides for many home
Ten men it took to measure me
For cutting saws? They shred the air
I hear the screams of sister trees
Now at my feet, the saw’s first bite
Two thousand years of life erased.