If you took an expedition to my favorite tree,
you’d find it’s convoluted as a tree can be.
It’s encrusted with lichen, but I’ve found that for a fee
an ornamental arborist can scrape it lichen-free.
They’ll do artful jobs of trimming off the deadwood if they’re hired
by removing extra branches that look too dried-out and tired.
And if those earmarked branches contain nests of birds, perchance,
I’ve heard the trimmers merely move them to another branch.
In defense of ecology, no single squirrel has died
in this trimming of the branches, for they are safe inside,
nestled most securely with their babies and their kin,
thankful for the tree hollows that they take shelter in.