The Cherry Tree: A Poem

Poem by Jean Swenson

Photo by Sherry No.

Photo by Sherry No.

In our backyard, the tree next door is coming down,

Its half dead craggy, sidewalk bound and half a century old,

It grew right there from seed our neighbor told,

It produced cherries so sweet you could really eat,

It produced raccoons and birds and lots of leaves to hide behind,

These last few years the tree is large and bare, the leaves are slim, for sure

Where leaves once were dead branches point to here and there,

The old cherry tree watched over our way for 32 years of care,

It watched us have our babies, raise them and set them free,

It watched our parents grow old and no longer show,

It watched our friends come and go,

And so, now it goes, on this cold and wet December morning,

There are two men with saws, ladders and belts, with no warning,

They will see it down and while I feel some relief,

As I will have some new south facing sun without the leafs,

There is also a tear for the days gone by we shared,

The birds will gather later as they always do when they lose,

A friend, in their neighborhood forest and you know they cared,

Because they gather, they chirp, they flutter and they question why,

“Oh my, oh my,” I hear their sad and chirpy sighs,

“We’ve lost another to the big blue skies.”