The oak predates our house. How old
it was when it toppled, I cannot tell:
a tree stands for ages, sees war unfold,
endures tribulations, then in one fell
goes still. I hadn’t time to count its rings:
saws labored for hours, clearing debris
magisterial no more. Death’s a thing
that happens to others, but not to me,
for I’m immortal and alive: I pay
twelve-hundred to dispose the knotty corpse,
and, satisfied, go about my day.
But the void calls to me. Such is the course
of life: I kneel before a stately oak,
see I too must fall or go up in smoke.