Monday, August 17, 2009


There is a digger pine down by the lake
It leans, the branches sag, its trunk is two feet thick
The tree is old, it has a tired stance –
Yet in the upper limbs the place is jumping
Blue herons, egrets and some cormorants
Have made the pine their home –
Despite its insubstantial look.
We call this tree the condominium.

The herons and the egrets when they come
Must circle, sometimes several times
Before they make their landing on the fragile
Twigs of branches. They clap their wings
To gain precarious balance and
To let the other tenants know they’re home.
Sometimes they misgauge their space.
Great cries erupt when this occurs.
The branches shake as these long legged birds
Assert their ownership
Of each exclusive limb.

We worry when rain heavy storms with screaming winds
Descend upon the neighborhood -
The lake becomes a tiny sea with waves.
At times it overflows its banks.

We think the digger pine just isn’t safe,
Its branches loaded with the nests of birds.
We wonder – is its lean a little more acute?
Has seepage undermined the roots?
Should not the birds find better, stronger trees
In which to raise their young?
Or will their instincts tell them
When the tree begins to
Tip too much
And fall uprooted.