Act of Contrition

We knew the time would come
me down here cowering
you up there towering
while the winds of change
howled at us ferociously.

We knew the time had come
me down here cowering
you up there towering
in the dawn of your last day —
before the ropes and cutters.

And when the time had come
me down here cowering
you up there towering
I took to the woods
to apologize to your brethren.

• • •

Words & Photo ©2013, Jen Payne

12 thoughts on “Act of Contrition

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  1. Awwww… You said very eloquently what I have often felt. HOWEVER! I take some comfort in the thought that all trees are part of one single, large organism; when one goes, the others mind much less than we do, because they know that. We have a wonderful “tree guy” around here, who knows trees more intimately than anyone else I know – and he cuts, trims, and fells them with impunity… And will be the first to insist that a tree with life in it should remain, no matter what we mere mortals may think. He has spent his adult life joyfully in the embrace of their highest limbs, and even once fell forty feet from one, breaking almost every bone, in multiple places, in both his legs. After more than a year of almost total immobility, and countless surgeries, he was back to climbing, having used that time to get his arborist license and start his own company. I try to see trees through his eyes…

    1. This particular tree was pretty healthy, but also right next to and towering over the whole house. With these major storms coming through, it just felt like a good decision to take her down. It broke my heart, but I feel much safer. AND I dug up and replanted some of her saplings – fingers crossed they take and grow!

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