I often look out the window at my Willow tree,
And with sorrow count our endless similarities.
My Willow tree is dying, pieces lying on the ground,
I pick them up and place them close by when they are found.
I sometimes cut them, stack them up, against my Willow’s base,
And gaze up at its plight as a dead leaf brushes my face.
The branches, twigs, and limbs that have all snapped away
Cannot be placed back where they were, to help stop the decay.
What used to be whole and healthy; sturdy, strong and true,
Is now broken, struck, diseased, and rotting through and through.
What once had such deep-set and firmly grounded roots,
Could no longer hold aloft an owl as he hoots.
One solitary branch arcs down to touch the grass and soil,
As if trying to help the trunk; against all odds it toils.
Away from my Willow leans a young, small silver maple,
Unwilling to get too close to something so unstable.
The other trees all give my Willow a quite generous berth,
As if contact with a trembling branch could cause egregious hurt.
My Willow tree stands all alone, but cannot call for help;
It only moans and creaks a bit, its suffering unfelt.
The broken pieces, still they lay, dead, piled in a hill,
My tree, fragmented, tries to stand another Winter’s chill.
As I watch from my window the remaining branches sway,
I know my Willow tree will last at least another day.
But what about a month, a year, perhaps a decade more?
Can it survive when fragmented and rotting from the core?