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Archive for March, 2014

The oldest trees in town
are now mostly gone
those that stood
in the hey-day of
the best of times

Grew with the first streets:
Oak street, Pine Street, Elmwood,
Maple town, Mapleton

They shaded the shiny promise
of bustling new businesses
when we sold three colors of tractors
and all the autos offered by Detroit

Willows lined the tortuous fairways
of the rich bottomland along the Maple River
trees aligned to foil the failed golf shot

Tall pines in the city park attended the
a perfect playground: branches
that would shelter our children in a safe haven.

Trees for ball parks, the swimming pool,
a Main Street with a bakery, a soda
fountain and a movie theater

Trees that stood watch over
our bastion of churches
where we learned of the next world
and gained faith in the good
to be found yet in this one

Red and yellow leaves in autumn
would swirl about your feet
as you walked with the ones you loved

In spring the tree planters would
kneel down again and mix the new roots
with the soil’s stuff of living and dead

With hope, love and a belief
that the trees–and this town–
would live forever.

 

—John Walter

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