King of the Canopy ©1988, 2014 Molly Lin Dutina

We have more mighty wind storms this year than Bob and I can ever remember. Starting to think this too is a result of climate change? Seeing so many fallen trees the last couple months reminded me of this poem. Enjoy!

High in the canopy of the forest
	In one of the tallest trees
Four buds set themselves
On the end of a twig.

Sealed tight with scales
	They set themselves firmly
	Determined to survive the winter’s
	Thaw and freeze, thaw and freeze.

Then the unthinkable happened
The unimaginable,
 not even remotely pondered, occurred.

In that last big wind storm
	When we wondered what 
	Might be happening in the woods ….
This mighty home of the buds fell.
King of the canopy came tumbling down with a groan
And crash
Many splintering sounds as
The hollow trunk gave way to wind and decay.

The young saplings braced themselves
As branches flew past,
	Rubbing trunks
	Leaving lost members lodged in other’s forks.
The creak and the crash unsettled
The whole forest as small critters
Ran out of the tumbling parts’ way
Wondering why the canopy 
Would want to visit the floor?

With a sigh the mighty giant
Folded into the contours of the forest floor
And lay still in the windy gusts
The four buds, sealed tight, 
waiting for the spring sun to call them forth,
cling to the twig at my eye level now.

There’s a strange new light now
As we walk this bend in the forest.
Sunbeams pour in on a cloudless day asking
“Who will next attempt the role of
King of the Canopy? Come forth! Come forth!”
How many other buds of last year’s canopy 
have become a white tail’s fodder?

One thought on “King of the Canopy ©1988, 2014 Molly Lin Dutina

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