GOODBYE, Lowell Jaeger

by Lowell Jaeger

This massive, venerable witness in time
now leans toward its inevitable fall. Two centuries
old, this pine, sprouted on a mountainside
while nomadic tribes came brushing past,
its crown cresting a wilderness horizon 
while trappers and settlers carved their paths

westward. Its bark outlasting crews blasting granite
for graders and dozers paving trucking lanes
along the lakeshore. How small these cataclysms
under the sun and moon cycling, as this tree branched 
its tenacious reach skyward, and scratched a foothold
in carbon starshine and decay. 
			                    How small am I on my commute
twice daily over three decades, speeding by
this landmark’s decline. Upper-most boughs
bereft of needles, then lower limbs rusted,
the whole of its majesty now barren of green.

When I trace with my palms the trunk’s enormity,
and crane my neck to follow its climb,
some being still breathes in this wood and touches me
back. Once, when my children were small, they perched
on these roots, dipping bare toes in the frothing creek below.
Here the wind rocked lullabies. Raptors nested.
A host of fledglings learned to fly. 
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About barkingsycamores 183 Articles
Barking Sycamores is a literary journal entirely edited and operated by queer neurodivergent people of color. We publish poetry, artwork, short fiction (beginning with Issue 3), creative nonfiction (beginning with Issue 8), and hybrid genre work (beginning with Issue 9) by emerging and established neurodivergent writers as well as essays on neurodiversity and literature and book reviews (beginning with Issue 10).

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