A gnarled tree reaches towards heaven and digs deeper

Gnarled tree
Photo by Lily Banse on Unsplash
In spite of lightning or fire, I'm not quite sure,
a tree journeys to clouds
to talk to the almighty, also digging deep 
to touch and talk with older trees,
its branches grazing the brick
of a little church, its whole body strangled `
by Christmas lights,
whether through lightning, no one is certain
why the burns,

Move it does regardless,
leaves cycling with earth's revolutions regardless,
defiant, having defeated axes and chainsaws,
the marks show and we call it ugly,
but birds favor it and  moss warms its thighs,
chirps interrupt  occasional worshippers
of daytime
  who, frustrated,  go elsewhere
and five folk  gather around it 
some evenings,

unconcerned with the posts on either side,
like an an angel of brown, black, green and gold
it spreads its limbs out to capture air uplifting,
fairies play below it while you're not looking,
with pipes and lutes, enjoying 
 familiar hissing permeating its presence,

when there's a death in  town, it's decorated
with a  bow,
it bears unidentifiable fruit we
are too afraid to eat,
it sits close between two rivers,
each with a bridge, one in the east
the other in the west, to the north is a wide
green field and to the south is a forest 
few people go into
because the few who go in don't come out,

a branch once fell and killed a man,
but no one minded because the populace
disliked him,

aunties say it was a man who was cursed
for being unfaithful,
not the dead guy, but the tree,
but chances are the man cheated too,

a couple of boys tried nailing a basketball hoop
to it, but the nails wouldn't penetrate,
they'd keep bending,

a dog once urinated on the tree
 and was found littering the ground in pieces,
blood trailing southward,

the young trees bow towards it
as if straining to hear commands,

not sure if by fire, the tree was burned,
but likely the arsonist is  fertilizer.



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