The fallen trunk rests gracefully
bent over grass and its own
Empty-handed now, it waits
for sun and rain and bugs to do their will.
Some critters make their home
among its ruins, scattering seeds.
Along its bottom edge a fungus furls
with feathered wings as if to fly.
A colony of more resplendent ones,
yellow, and with hats,
parades along its flank like awkward teens,
while yet another band atop the bark
crane their necks like explorers
peering into the new world.
And underneath, unseen,
a million worms and microbes
chew on death and make it life.
There’s no way I can sit here long enough—
the thousand years—
so see what this tree is becoming,
but only long enough to hear it ask:
“Little one, are you strong enough to die?”t
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