The sound was eerie.
The crack of bones and branches ringing long through the forest.
I ran to the clearing that wasn’t there yesterday.
There he lay silently broken.
New sky shone on the bed of leaves the forest lay beneath him.
They must have known it was his time.
How long must he have cast shadow on the forest floor? How long must he have held the nests in spring? How many storms had he weathered? We never heard his story.
We will never know how he sang when the wind blew.
We will never smell the scent of his leaves or feel the cool of his roots reaching down into our mother earth.
The others will come.
The feathery fungi will claim him.
He will soften.
He will fade.
He will disappear.