Goodbye 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.