by Kristina Woodhill

i knew when I touched
the loppers to the pear tree
it was already diseased;

the crisped brown leaf tips
on many a new branch,
invisible from a distance,

reconfirmed last year's
weakened top, cracked off
in a carefree windstorm,

that revelation of inner secrets,
forcibly unlocked,
was shocking and more

than a little disappointing,
knowing each new break,
each new cut limb

must surrender to the hottest fire
and each sharp cutting tool
must bear the liquid swipe

of complete sterility


Posted on 07/14/2010
Copyright © 2023 Kristina Woodhill

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Charles E Minshall on 07/14/10 at 01:36 AM

I spent all afternoon pruning our wisteria. I know what you mean.....CharMin

Posted by Alison McKenzie on 07/14/10 at 02:12 AM

You brought that tree to life here, wish it could live on in your care out there too.

Posted by George Hoerner on 07/14/10 at 01:20 PM

A cool write lady about a subject we seem to ignore more than we should. Amazing how plants can get "under your skin" and into your mind so that you care for them like family.

Posted by Joan Serratelli on 07/14/10 at 05:00 PM

You did a great job with the tree and this piece. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Tom Goss on 07/14/10 at 06:40 PM

Beautifully constructed, much enjoyed.

Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 07/14/10 at 06:53 PM

Oh, this is wonderful, Kris. A.E Houseman wrote: "Give me a land of boughs in leaf, A land of trees that stand; Where trees are fallen there is grief; I love no leafless land. Always room for another tree. Thanks.

Posted by Charlie Morgan on 07/14/10 at 11:53 PM

...caregiving to the slowly-dieing...a great punch of caring love...new will grow from the old.

Posted by Tim D Livingston on 07/17/10 at 12:26 AM

Wow...so beautiful. Tending a garden is just like tending our souls. Hard work and heart-breaking at times.

Posted by Glenn Currier on 07/17/10 at 01:20 PM

I love the compassion in this one, the care of one species for another, the sense of union with the earth... all stuff I do so admire. You make that tool - well - a feelingless tool of shearing. I guess it is good it has no feelings or it couldn't do its job. Didn't you like Greg's Houseman poem? Thanks Kristina.

Posted by Max Bouillet on 07/18/10 at 07:42 PM

Is life dependant upon production? We are all connected on this planet. Everything is in motion. Should we stop, do we die? Your words have inspired plenty of thought. Thank you for sharing.

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