Her dying tree

Our golden rain tree
He had been dying a while
Harboring decay
From roots to tile
Curly fungi grew in rows on a stem
Most of the branches
Had no leaves on them..
Still it flowered a few more springs
Its pods dangling through fall..
On one of its tallest dead branches
A mockingbird delighted to call

He noticed the new lady in the house
Give his twisted trunk
A careful browse
He heard her grumbling on
about the million black and red bugs
The ones that mated
Joined at their butts
They did grow in his pods
But what could he do?
Life does defy odds..

For sometime she came out often
Talked to the birds
Chased the dragonflies
Became somewhat a gardener
After much toil and tries.

Later, he wished he could
Tell her, look, I’m half dead
But life’s good.
My trunk grows hollow
So the bugs bore
The woodpeckers love them
It’s makes a good store!
I have few leaves
But my branches still hold
Brooding fledglings
After their mom’s scold.

Last year the winds
Blew hard, but out of this way
I heard a lot of my old pals
Couldn’t hold their sway
That night spared me
And I’m glad I stayed..
Though some years lost grace
I see you smiling again
That smile can light up this place.

I saw her one last time
As I lay sighing my last
Too tired even for a weak storm
My time had gone past
I whispered to her, hush..
My friend, I'll bid farewell with a laugh
As I am not in pain:
You’ve called me boxelder
All these years, in vain
Elder I was, but my name
Is Golden Rain.

September 30 2020.

I realized my tree was a golden rain tree the day he fell, gently.I don't know what prompted me to look up his name again, because for years I called it a box elder tree.. So I think he wanted me to know! I have watched young robins, cardinals being fed on the tree. Woodpeckers did indeed love it. After our neighbors cut off their dangerously tall, also dead, tree earlier this year, this was the only dead or dying tree in the near vicinity. Birds have long memories of familiar trees, they visit and perch on them and also eat the bugs that inhabit the trunks. I Hope they will still know this lawn when they come back next year. 

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