***** Ode to A Riverbank Tree *****
Once I stood tall and strong,
mighty among the riverbank throng.
I ruled like a King,
bloomed lushly each Spring.
Came days of many Summer winds;
my trunk ached in stormy dins.
Aged branches spit and cracked
with the wind’s heavy whacks.
Low I bent, blue, abashed,
ready to break at each crack.
But through the windy days I’d last,
now certain I’d survive any blast.
Alas, the winds of Fall brought more tests,
beating torturously upon my breast.
Huge gusts were too much to bear;
twisted and broken, I gasped, “Not fair!”
No longer mighty, split as by
the woodman’s axe, I stood less high.
As Winter’s ice and cold came in,
I cried and mourned each loss of limb.
Spring again and the final act of fate:
my last upper sprout now a bare, twisted mate.
Roots spiritedly anchor me to riverbank’s tress,
but it’s true: by Mother Nature, I’m much less.
Poem and Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg