551 Life and Death [30 July 2003]

Shaded within its green embrace,
there lives a whole community
where one would not think to look.
Among its strong arms
live the nesting groups,
From graceful birds of prey
Down to the littlest of nuthatches.
Within its steady base,
Live everything from screeching squirrels
to small insects, from ants to arachnids.
This is the healthiest of its kind.

nearby, the dead.
Rotting roots turning a bright red
while termites do their work.
Burrowing deep down into
the thoroughfare of limbs.
Hidden within the earth seen
by eyes accustomed to light.
Yet this death is not in vain
for it will fuel a new generation,
Bringing into life with the nutrients
buried deep down in its core.
Life benefits from this decay.

© Johanna Fugitt 2017

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