When you planted me so long ago at the side of the track Did you know I would outlive you? Did you countenance the life that I would give Not just to self replicate but in harbouring others? From insects small to tawny owl nesting in my hollow. Did you contemplate the years of shade That I would afford travellers down this lane From farm boy labourers to coaches drawn And then to cranking cars and back to men? Did you know that centuries later your ancestors Would stand beneath me and wonder at my age Drinking in the air that I expire and admire me Almost as a generous god? For the peace and the calm and the life I can give.
You would be sad to see how the world Is treated with disdain Your progeny, no longer guardians But ravagers of nature Greedy for expansion. I weep and yearly drop my limbs, Shrinking from the world at large Drawing in on myself: to nothing.
Then drunk in their own excesses They will choke on their own vomit And there will be nothing you nor I can do.