A Tree is not a Forest

Michael Brown

sometimes he’d wonder how the tree would grow
expand the slow reach for light
how it might go on in the years without him
in the dense silence
speaking its language of signals    sap and root and scent
it would be there   he knew   to summon even the hint of a lightening
the slightest change in the air
he couldn’t see it yet   that imminent later life
time quickening   rising through the canopy of leaves    the older trees
broadening from its cambium membrane
shifting limb from limb   filaments crackling to no-one and everything
none of this for him