After a particularly violent storm,
a group of people surround a large tree that may not withstand another.
The arborist examines the scarred bark,
rubs the orange leaves between the thumb and forefinger
and proclaims the tree to be healthy, if articifially damaged.
The lumberer eyes the twisted branches,
the knots in the trunk,
and mutters that it is only good for firewood.
The environmentalist doesn't even look,
claiming it can be saved,
with love and tender care.
The young girl closes her eyes,
remembers carving names into the bark,
and jumping in its fallen leaves.
Amid gasps of surprise,
the young girl climbs the tree
and lays down in the curve of a branch.
A fresh breeze stirs the branches; the new buds perfume the air.
The roots dig deeper into the soft earth,
and the limbs reach out to the sky.
The young girl breathes deeply and wraps her arms around the trunk
and trusts in the strength of the tree.
Perfect, she sighs.