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DEAD TREE

It's just an ordinary tree
Not so tall or so small -
One among a row of other trees
Lining the gates of an office building.

Once it stood firm and straight.
Green branches outstretched towards the sun.
Bathing in its rays, then welcoming the rains -
  ..partaking from its fountain of waters
.....to quench its thirst.
And like a young athlete supple as an arrow -
.....it was unbowed from the rages of a storm,
.....holding its crown of leaves
.....proud and strong......invincible.

But now this tree is dying......
Its leaves are turning yellow.
Each day they flutter to the ground,
.....multicolored butterflies with clipped wings,
.....failing to rise into great heights.

It won't take long now -
.....its twigs will go brittle and dry,
.....its trunk will shrivel and wrinkle,
.....birds will cease to sing and perch on it.

Such is one of life's great contrast -
.....the massive strength and power of a huge structure
.....overshadowing an insignificant dying tree.

One wonders why this one tree is dying
.....while all the rest is not.
Had an army of ants built a camp around its roots?
.....rotting the soil, cutting off its water and air?
Or had the gardener missed to tend to it,
.....or shield its once tender shoots from gusty winds?

It makes one recall a child somewhere out there
.....who knew not a mother's warmth,
.....who remembered no lullabys -
Now he stands apart from the rest of his kind -
.....unloved..cast aside..forgotten.

Every eye beholds this tree,
.....then turns his gaze away -
Why doesn't someone remove or cut it down?
It only mars the scenery.....
No one wants to know the ugly truths,
.....lurking in every one's souls.
.....hidden in closets.
BUT - "we have found the enemy and he is us."


-----------------------by Jotte; October 19, 1998

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