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His Breath on My Bark

One day I was standing tall, swaying in the breeze
Whispering to my friends who like myself are trees
Enjoying the lush green which had finally come
Far from where any human had ever hum

All of a sudden I felt a gentle stomping in the ground
The bear who often roamed these woods would not make such a sound
Then came clear the shrill yelp of a hound
But such a hound would not make such a pound pound POUND!

Could it be a man?
The horrid creature of childhood stories told by my Great Aunt Fran?
He stomps and devours and moves with such ease
Any desire to consume he would be delighted to seize

The rumblings came closer and my fear grew great
My aunt had warned me that these men were filled with such hate
The voluminous thuds evidenced that he was near
My limbs were shaking because I was filled with such great fear

It seemed from the stop of the rumbling that right beside me was where he decided to park
He came so close that I could feel his breath on my bark
His little hound lay down at the base of my trunk
Like a little boat submerged, my hopes were entirely sunk

The man began to whistle a sprightly little song
I had sudden doubts, maybe my Aunt Fran was wrong
How peaceful the song that was whistled by man's lips
But suddenly into my bark a jagged axe rips!

I had never felt such pain in all my years
If trees had eyes, mine would've been streaming with tears
The man swung his axe many more times
The pain that I endured was caused by the greatest of crimes

One last blow and I fell to the ground
My branches breaking as I hit the earth made such an awful sound
I thought to myself, the pain must be done, the suffering through
I could not believe what he proceeded to do

The hurt only grew worse as I was chopped into pieces
I only wished I could warn all my nephews and nieces
That his peaceful song was entirely a lie
For in a pile, on the ground rest I with not a branch in the sky

What he wanted with me then I could not guess
For a tree without roots or leaves is entirely useless
What I heard next was a tree's worst fear
The crackling of flame was entirely too near

The excruciating pain of burning I never wanted to feel
But as he laid each piece of me into the fire it was all too real
As he pulled out his harmonica and proceeded to play, I screamed
Oh how I wish this was all just something horrible I dreamed!

My whole existence had changed in a flash
Every last bit of me had turned into ash
The wind blew swift and carried me through the air
So that I could travel great distances and my story I could share

Of a man whose songs were entirely charming
Who puts trees through hell and whose intentions are alarming.
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Submitted on May 02, 2011

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