The hundred year old Maple tree weeps
now that men in protective gear
wielding chainsaws, took still living
branches too close to wires,
obliterating the green, the life reaching out
and upwards, now gone.
The hundred year old Norway Maple has
a place where a slowly rotting branch
survived through severe storms
and hurricane winds, but I chose
to protect the house
as the heavy, leafy branch hung on,
dangerously close to the roof.
I said remove the old apple tree
as well, flush to the ground,
unpruned for years, no longer yielding
any golden fruit, branches confused
and crisscrossing, overlapping
the old Maple's handprint leaves
still shading lilies of the valley
from my grandmother's garden.
Diseased, said the expert, safer,
better for you, the tree, the house.
So why do I feel the same ache as
the missing Maple limb, as if
part of me is removed, finding
little comfort from the stack of firewood
that still needs to be split.