Tree at the end, dry boughs

 Ode Tannenbaum

A Tree Boughs Down

I would not suppose you can imagine, the hurt I feel, the pain, the woes.
My boughs are drooping from neglect, though you have lightened up the load.
For that I am so thankful, truly thankful.

You see I am no longer rooted to the ground where I once stood, raise on
A farm of tender wood, and cared and tended just like all the other firs.
My cousins, brothers, maybe sisters.

In years of ours I‘m not that old, no really not, like those before me,
Knotty pines, and Scottish greens, and Redwoods, mighty, tall and lean.
No, I‘m just six or seven, I may just be seven.

But far as that goes, straight I grew, so fast, with little spacing too
and branches thick, so Tick a bird or mouse or squirrel could hide
and not be seen, no not be found,so close the boughs were.

The Farmer kept us watered fine, his livelihood was on the line.
But too much fertilizing grace, plus dry spell mid-life made a space
Midst in the dress below and cone above.

A funny thing ‘tis to be raised, each year to see the yearlings razed
Before you, with gnawing hacks, wondering what they did to get the axe
Or where they went, what was their fate?

This ‚ritual‘ came once a year when air was crisp and skies were clear.
The days were shorter, nights were cold and forest trees lost leaves of old.
Out came the stringed light warning.

When time was up, none of us knew, so we did what was best, we grew.
Our finest, straightest trunk displayed, with short or long needles that stayed
And fragrant like a wooded walk, such a fragrance.

In my later years I began to query the other trees, and I heard a theory.
Some trees were sold to factories, then stripped and planked for use and ease.
But most were grown for Christmas.

The more I asked the less I knew, some talk of decorations too
and lights, be wary, hope and pray, whoever takes you hope that they
Have sense not to use candles, candles burn.

The day came when my time was up, the axe bit hard, severed my trunk
Then down I fell, on hardened ground, with needles spilling all around
From friends of mine who‘d gone before me, yes my friends were gone.

Stuffed in on a flat-bed, rope and knot, he hauled us to some vacant lot
He set us up in our new home, where many other pines had come,
so many like me, freshly cut, all different shapes and sizes.

My sap, now stopped up from the cold, I stood with others to be sold
The folks would come to look and prod, to size us up, whisper and nod
or shake their heads and walk away, they‘d turn and walk away.

But then a man with gentle eyes and tall young man came walking by
They looked me over, measured me, turned me around all sides to see
If I would suit their purpose, would I fit their purpose?

Indeed, oh joy, they chose me. Then, the horror of the RING began
Shoved through, wrapped in a web so taut, my branches were bent up and caught
and it was hard to breath and move, I couldn‘t breath and move.

Soon after, in a van I came, and at my new home, for my pain,
I was given some fresh water, but had to wait outside til later,
when the Lady of the House could bring me in, they brought me in.

With gentle voices, gentle hands, they lifted me upright to stand,
and quickly cut away the net, my branches free and stretching, yet
the Lady stepped back, she took a look at me and smiled.

Believe me, I now have an appreciation for what was meant by decoration,
The next hour my boughs were decked so bold, in glass, garland, silver and gold,
And lights, like stars above, a dress of stars above.

On Christmas day the packages stood proud ‘neath my piney needled wood
they too were ribboned, wrapped with care and stayed till family gathered there
To share the gift of giving, the giving of the gifts.

It seems so long ago that day, but now of late, this I must say
No longer can I drink my fill, and though I keep my needles still
I‘m getting very dry, my branches are so dry.

I see you‘ve noticed, that was kind. You‘ve given me some peace of mind
No garland wrapped around my waist, no crown or baubles o‘er my face
Only strings of lights are left, the lovely lights are left.

Sandra Lynn Kern
20 Jan 2018
#my500words Day 19: Write in Someone Else‘s voice.