Rising above, magnificent,
a tree is surely heaven sent.
Giving shelter, shade and beauty,
as though each function were its duty.
Squirrels on branches, falling leaves
caught up by the roofs and eaves.
With moss for hair and bark for sleeves,
and vast foundation that now heaves
the sidewalks up and breaks the earth
as roots grow in length and girth,
imagine it spread far below
what we see and what we know.
Under the driveway, house and street.
Under the car. Under your feet.
As branches spread, so grows the root.
And through its branches, far underfoot,
tunnel earthworms, spiders, voles,
shrews and woodchucks, ants and moles.
For gourmands, sights of trees evoke
thoughts of truffles on roots of oak.
All things have lives both seen and hidden
as they do what nature has bidden.
Cicadas burrowing and feeding,
all this wildlife living, breeding.
Our lives are richer whenever we
are shaded by a massive tree
or see its branches iced with snow,
but we do not see what lies below.
White oaks, walnuts, hickories—
all have creatures such as these
living their lives underground
in the solace they have found
curled up in their slumbering coils
or ventilating root-twined soils.
So, as you come and as you go,
surveying all you’ve come to know—
leaf shadows and the curl of moss,
the branches’ harmonies and toss
of snowflakes as wind stirs their snow,
please also think of what’s below,
far beneath the branches of
every tree we’ve grown to love.
The prompt today is Tree.