A gun shot echoes in morning calm or perhaps day-late fireworks
Combusting in spontaneous eruption at dawn.
A pop, then silence…
A crack, then several more—
Stirred from my morning reverie,
I look up from oatmeal stupor to see
The ancient Spitzenburg apple tree (Thomas Jefferson’s favorite)
Fallen irrevocably split and splintered.
I wonder: hit by lightening? Absurd.
The sky is liquid lit azure.
Perhaps only resonance of delayed echoes
Of last night’s explosions of sulfured flowers and raining sparks.
Yet now the tree of life lies in dew-damp still,
A hollowed trunk emptied out like broken brittle bone,
Having given away in gasping anticipation
Of winter storms to come rather than fight back the wind once again.
Perhaps I can brace it up with words
Like Jefferson’s brave declaration of independence
Written in ink, that sweet juice of freedom,
Feeding future generations with hope not hatred.
But this tree chooses its end in fragile finale, without encore,
Shattered without wind, lightening or tire swing
Giving up before the axe can fell it,
Before winter rips it in half, pulling it up by the roots.
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