Once, not so long ago, you grew high
in a vast woods toward a vaster sky;
once, your strong roots sank deeply and sighed
as your rings within rings multiplied.
Then, abruptly, chainsaws brought you low.
Never again would you—cut down—grow.
Hauled far away from the land you know,
you died indoors, gaudy lights aglow.
A little more than a week’s gone by.
Here I am striding past on the fly
and you’re in the gutter growing dry
no one to mourn you, no one to cry.
Yes, Fate’s rich with irony and woe.
There’s no escaping what you don’t know.
What you think is a flock of sparrows
turns out to be starving cawing crows.
Even tinseled Christmas trees must die
as blue-green glaciers must melt and flow.
Stare at the blinking lights. Don’t ask why.
Trees will fall whether or not it snows.
Poet, writer, editor, former publisher, educator, cultural critic, and (briefly) a gravedigger, Michael K. Dorr is a Phi Beta Kapa cum laude graduate of Hofstra University, where he studied film, theater, history, anthropology, and astrophysics. He is co-editor of MILES ON MILES: Interviews and Encounters with Miles Davis. He lives in Brooklyn, New York with a Rhodesian Ridgeback runt named Trixie Maybeline.