breaking through the smooth firmness of a seed’s protective shell.
gasping for sunlight
beneath a dense canopy of maternal generations already centuries old.
conserving precious energy
wrestled away from a greater, crowded, forest
limiting its own girth and number of branches.
a century of growth,
now just beginning to peak out
above a canopy of lesser coniferous creatures,
knowing only now the full joy of uninhibited sunlight.
Thick brittle wood,
worn by time and storm,
cracked by wind and disease,
purging wounds with sap and syrup,
yet standing tall for deep roots
woven firmly into the duff and decay of previous grand matriarchs.
reminder of something once grand,
whose future is past,
and now holds hope only for others
to root in this crumbling fiber of what has been.
Soft humus of long-ago memories,
and a wisdom transcending the lifespan
of a thousand generations of trees.
But is there not something more?
Hope and promise of germination in every life.
Sustenance for other communities;
a dozen browsing deer;
one hundred seeking squirrels;
myriad molds and lichens and insects of every kind.
Security and protection for downy,
nest-bound progeny of flittering avian wanderers
and delicate perennial blooms tucked away from fierce April storms.
Cooling relief for summer-time lovers
who seek the moist shadows of a dark forest
in which to share a eucharist of their entwining souls;
The promise of a future beyond one’s lifetime
for all who will touch and taste and understand...
...as immoveable towering timber
is slowly resurrected into soft, spongy, fertile earth!
- Warren Lynn, ©1999