|This is NOT the elm tree in question, just a nice picture I took at Wind Horse farn in Nova Scotia|
Out On East Hill
I once started a rumor of a missing tree.
I didn’t become famous or loved in that neighborhood
For writing or painting, but everyone listened and cared
When I gave voice to that missing Elm tree
You know the one it’s always silhouetted at the top of the hill,
Vines run delicately up the palm-like trunk and limbs
How alive could the tree have been, always stark and leafless?
Beset with vine out in the field, on the left as you travel north
Where the sun sets behind its thought provoking limbs,
Spreading in the shape of a ginkgo leaf at top.
“Well, coming home yesterday afternoon
Rushing over rutted roads
Bringing my girls home from school,
I saw that the tree was gone!”
Thus I told my neighbors. I told my friends.
There was indignation, disbelief, and sadness
The thing we had all so unknowingly feared had happened.
I felt unity for the first time.
Everyone knew just which tree I meant,
Though we had never talked about the tree before
We now know that the tree links us all.
We had been linked all along by the love of this tree.
…Looking for it as we crest the hill coming north
Or coming south on East Hill Road…
I suppose the tree never knew how important it was.
In the weeks following this sad news,
People visited the place where the tree had lived
And gradually reports trickled back: The tree was still there!
We celebrated with such relief and happiness to be
Reunited with our familiar: Landscape with Tree!
There must have been one day at least though
When we all failed to notice our lovely tree.
I moved away from East Hill; I don’t think anyone misses me.
For a moment I had important news, and it was heard, that’s all.