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The Pine Tree

The pin oak is finally turning red, red orange, burnt sienna

though the ginkgo is still quite green and that old pine tree

stands nearly bare when it should be green and full of needles.

Old age, vines and weather have finally defeated it

a tree my neighbor who lived to be a hundred planted

when she was young.  When she was old her neighbor

to the west climbed it every December to hang

a lit wreath high up in its topmost branches.

Both now gone from here, one to the country

a young wife and two little boys, one after those

last bitter years to death and whatever comes next.

So everything changes even those things we

imagine don’t matter that much nevertheless

adding to the humble landscape of a human life

for as I look now back there I recall a whole

other time left behind as my life goes on and on.

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