A Mighty Tree Falls

a mighty tree falls

cracks the forest canopy

like a thunderclap

echoes off distant peaks

alerts wild deer and elk

who crane their heads

and fix their wary ears


a bare-shouldered woodsman

stands sweating in the new sun

silences the smoking chain saw

smells the slain-stained air

sees not the toppled cedar

but cabins and bedposts

cradles and rocking chairs


the boy at his side

leaps upon the moist

white meat of stump

basks in the knowing

that only a moment

separates his stance

from that of the living tree


then it hits him

like a thunderclap

his life rooted in time

is fragile and finite

he too will one day

give way and fall into

the deep well of Earth