Each tree is a soldier lined up for war,
Motionless with its comrades,
Eyeing stumps of fallen friends.
Morituri te salutamus.
Dad carries the sparkling saw, its teeth
Thirsting for a delicate trunk.
Mom carries the map, her index finger
Circling the field of Douglass Firs.
Uncapping the blade, we pierce the flesh,
Drag her away, branches thudding.
Sweet sap seeps out her brave wounds,
Yellow bungee cords trapping the needles.
Across the farm three-foot babies whimper
“Don’t leave me with your jagged stumps.”
Adults murmur feeble farewells, dreading
The eras of their own severed roots.
How can this tree’s suffering embody
Such winter joy? My guilty eyes
Blink away tears of embarrassment
For each of humanity’s failings.
Later, when the window reflects cruel moonlight
The dying plant will support an angel
With silver wings, shimmering soft flames
Lit up, like inferno, atop the highest branch.