Sunday, June 21, 2015


digital re-imagining of photo by marilyn fleming

by Marilyn Fleming

by the summer solstice
only a transparent skeleton
stands amidst the fallen needles
the unexpected dying
seemed almost sudden

when there was certainty
the arborist in harness climbs up
with slow deliberate spurred steps
he pierces and tests the bark
a chain saw hangs from his waist
branches drop as the belt notches higher
stabs continue the walk up the trunk
now walking down a lop off the stub  
another cut until boots touch ground
left behind a heap of bones
a giant spruce toppled   

the unexpected legacy      
an expanded view of the lake
a fire pit in place of the stump
cords of stacked wood
numerous tracks and droppings   
a nocturnal gathering place

born to eternal life date unknown
cremation services held graveside
eulogies invited     bring your own beer
Aldo Leopold benches provided

~ first published in the Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar