Northwords Now

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Ash dieback

by Gail Low

Tree surgeons with chainsaws have
come and done their amputations.

Ash trees felled; logs, darkened by rot,
line the path by small confetti mounds.

Sawdust still hang in the air,
branches heaped as for a funeral pyre.

We circle what remains, marvel
at the growth rings, shamed  

by what’s revealed: concentric circles
each marking one year of life

ancient witness to the wind and rain,
and the warming sunshine.

Heartwood, sapwood, cambium, phloem,
and in deep grooves and fissures, bark wood ―

Trunks whose girth exceeds
our arms’ span, these be dinosaur bones.

And they’ll not be come by again.

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