Elegy for a Tree

This tree that sickens
by the side of a main thoroughfare
Is not permitted death with dignity.

By order of the tree warden
It is cut down, cut up,
ground into bits and disposed of.

When a tree falls in a forest
it absorbs into the earth and becomes
first home, then food, then soil.

This Fall I will miss its familiar horse chestnuts
next Spring, the white blossoms.
A friend is gone.

By the side of the busy street
where I walk nearly every day
there is a raw stump.

Tasha Halpert

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