Or maybe as a child
Riding my bike across the street
I never looked up to realize
How through the thick leaves
The pavement was shaded dark
And Through the impenetrable green,
A black shadow was cast.
Maybe, as a child,
called over to help pick walnuts off a neighbor’s front lawn and just throw a football around,
I was simply too distracted,
bent over to scoop up the seeds
and to scramble for the fumbled ball to notice the shade
being cast by the cover of wide leaves, stories above.
When I finally did look up I did not
Find the memories of the dog that would not stop chewing at the fence
Or Maxwell racing Duncan around the house on his 4 wheeler.
I thought of the trees, and the roots of the trees
Slowly over the years stretching deeper
And pulling more and more life out
of the rocky missouri soil
Until after months of drought a fresh breeze would blow in heavy clouds to revive the earth.
And the bark, chipped away
Pelted by tossed rocks and rotted Walnuts
Chewed and scratched by families of squirrels.
I think if she might have lived the trees would have shed their leaves In celebration,
a life spared,
So pure sunlight could shine onto the Asphalt
and bleaching it
But the cool shadows remain.
To look up at the branches
Is to forget the past