Tree Talk

by Francesca Weekes

We are taller than your most extravagant tales.
A drawn-out note on a mellowed cello
Describes our skin,
Our bark, roughened under wind and sun
Ripples more slowly than the eye can follow.
We are water, wood, sunlight;
We are tree.
We sense everything:
The languid pop of mushrooms at our roots,
The prickle of new leaves stiffening on our branches,
The gentle soothing of rain on our dry, cracked skin.
You do not see our movements, but
We are every bit as alive as fire, as the sky.
When we are angered, you feel our wrath.
The death of one of us is
A sudden numbing of the nerves
In a part of our greater body.
A forest is not easy to kill.