I waved hello to an old bent tree
Unsure where the journey would end.
I never expected that, waiting for me,
Was a wooden and wonderful friend.
The sight of my friend was breathtaking,
She smelled of wood stain and sawdust –
Though soon perfumed with the smell of baking,
Dutch babies, and Saskatoon pie crust.
She held me close, as she held you
And always brought us together.
I know you loved her as I do,
Even her cracks that let in the weather.
As the sun set behind her,
We would smile and begin to race
Barefoot on the grass, for we were sure
That a shoe makes a good enough baseball .
Within her arms we’d safely doze,
Hide, seek, and throw steak on the grill.
We’d even sing, though I’m not sure that those
Are the words to Margaritaville.
The mud in her garden was ideal
For mud meals and though - I admit -
The cocoa we made looked quite real,
No one was meant to drink it.
Remember we would leave her hold,
To travel the world and explore?
We drew chalk arrows on trees, and cross-lane bowled
And found other rules to ignore.
As night fell, she’d light us a fire
And give us a million stars,
We’d look at each other and admire
How no family was friends like ours.
Together we made an unusual crowd,
Obsessed with coffee, Cougs, and wine.
Even Pictionary cheaters were allowed,
Provided they took a joke fine.
Now there’s worse cheating to forgive,
And it’s harder to spot a joke.
Perhaps if apologies were easy to give
It wouldn’t be so long since last we spoke.
She watched us go our separate ways
And leave the comfort we had known,
I wonder if she counts the days
Since we left her there alone.
Will she remember us fondly, not as we’ve
Been lately but as we once were?
I hope she knows that as we leave
It’s us that changed, not her.
Does some new family call her home,
And run barefoot through her grass?
Will they treasure the moments that come,
Before the best of them pass?
I cried as I left my wooden friend
It didn’t seem real to me,
But I knew for sure it was the end
When I waved goodbye to that old bent tree.