The hundred year old Maple tree weeps

now that men in protective gear

wielding chainsaws, took still living

branches too close to wires,

obliterating the green, the life reaching out

and upwards, now gone.

The hundred year old Norway Maple has

a place where a slowly rotting branch

survived through severe storms

and hurricane winds, but I chose

to protect the house

as the heavy, leafy branch hung on,

dangerously close to the roof.

I said remove the old apple tree

as well, flush to the ground,

unpruned for years, no longer yielding

any golden fruit, branches confused

and crisscrossing, overlapping

the old Maple's handprint leaves

still shading lilies of the valley

from my grandmother's garden.

Diseased, said the expert, safer,

better for you, the tree, the house.

So why do I feel the same ache as

the missing Maple limb, as if

part of me is removed, finding

little comfort from the stack of firewood

that still needs to be split.

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