The One of Many

The One of Many

I took it down yesterday,

Japanese Maple, Acer Palmatum,
·············victim of autumn drought,
skeletal filigree against the winter sky
·············unblessed with spring leaves
·····················the color of lime peel
·············the shape of silver dollar-sized
··················five-pointed fans.

No brutal felling,
but taking of the branches
·············one by one.
From the ends back to the trunk,
 ·············no section longer than four feet
··············to perfectly fit the pyre
as by a temple neophyte
·············carried in delicate bundles to the fire.

Pine and American Hornbeam that
·············formed its canopy
look down on vacancy.
Evergreen sparkleberry and speckled Aucuba Japonica
·············diminish and
withdraw without contrast.

There is a hole in the garden–
·············a spot of unfilled beauty.

Over twenty feet tall,
············it could have lived one-hundred years.
In its protracted drying and dying,
·············did it cry out to the universe,
 ·············“Why me?”

July, 2017