What is my life to a cedar,
with all of my paths leading here,
contemplating age and survival,
or to an oak, with no false starts,
each of its branches offering
the possibility for growth?
A walnut will stand tall and continue
bearing fruit, while my back bends
and my options grow fewer.
Brief as my life may be, there is
solace in its ending if it should
spare the life of just one tree.
This poem originally was inspired by the first photo above, taken ten days ago on a walk at Runge Conservation Center in Jefferson City, Missouri. It sat unfinished, until I realized today that it could be used to meet the Sept. 20 prompt, earthweal weekly challenge: A TIMBERED CHOIR.