In the dream all that remained where the tree had stood
was a stump that marked
its former place at the incline
on which a trail curved back as it climbed
through white stones and grass
from the streambed to the deserted mine
and up into the stars. In the dream
some friends who had never seen the tree
when its roots ran deep into the earth
came to the spot on the occasion
of a loss so great they knew nobody would recover
the boughs reaching high
through all the seasons and thousands of leaves
opening and turning in the forest
as they had fallen and opened
for longer than anyone has been alive.
In the dream they knelt
and raised their eyes toward the sky.
In the dream there was such grief. There was
operatic weeping. There was
black, black mourning. In the dream
it was only one tree.
David Chorlton, Arizona, USA