When a Tree Falls


If a tree falls in the forest
and someone is there to chop it down,
did it really fall at all?
And is a tree only a tree
when its roots are deep in the ground?

What then, when the man cuts it down?
Does it still exist?
It is dead when its roots are shriveled up.
When we die, we no longer exist.
Or do we?
Are our roots still extended?
Our connections remaining while we are gone,
though not for good?

Are our souls still around,
to strut around the town?
Wait, does a tree have a soul?
Or is it really gone, when it's gone?
When it turns into paper in a factory,
has the tree disappeared, destroyed?
Or is all that paper still the tree,
torn up and annoyed?

So what happens when we're gone?
Are we cut up in a factory and packaged up
to be sent to stores all through town?
They call us organ donors.
Are we written on and doodled upon
like a worthless piece of paper?
People talk, they gossip, hurt us with words,
label us with their judgments,
make us feel worthless.
No one should feel worthless!
Not even a tree.

But isn't a tree just a thing?
It isn't a person, nor an animal.
But it is alive,
moving, trying to strive,
for recognition, just like the rest of us.
It reaches its branches higher, higher,
only to be sliced apart, turned into a flyer.
If I was chopped down,
and just as I was working my hardest,
I'd be sad, I'd be mad, I'd be crushed inside and out.
I don't want to be like paper, used,
crumbled into a ball, abused,
if asked, it would be refused,
"Can I cut you down?"
Stop, stop, STOP!
A tree is never asked, "Is this okay?"
They're just cut down, there's no other way.
And we're the same, even today.
We cut down others, we go and say,
"You weirdo! You freak! No one likes you, go away!"

These words are ugly,
not like the people they're aimed at.
No one deserves to be made fun of,
to be hurt,
stepped on,
chopped down like a tree.
And those bullies will see.
It'll come back and then they will be
cut down and hurt, just like a tree.
If a person is cut down,
and no one hears them cry,
do they still exist?
Do they still matter?
Of course they do,
though they feel like they don't.

Everyone matters, even when they don't think they do,
even at their lowest low,
when they won't know where they should go,
there's a place, a safe haven,
out there somewhere.
In the arms of friends, family, neighbors.
No one is ever truly alone.
And do you know what?
Neither is a tree.
When if falls, someone will be there
and someone will care.
Everyone and everything matters,
everyone and everything has a purpose.
Even you and me,
and even a measly tree.


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