At a time when we need to be planting trees not cutting them down, we did hesitate for quite a while before taking down the cypress – hoping that it might somehow recover. However it became obvious that it wouldn’t and we were afraid that the blight might spread to the others.
I’ve written about three or four versions of this poem but one will suffice for the blog! Sometimes we see trees that have had all their life drained away by a stranglehold of ivy – but not this one.
Ivy was Innocent This Time
Flanked by healthier specimens this evergreen
stood tall, erect, except it wasn’t green.
The only green to be seen was a cloak of ivy
wrapped tightly round the trunk.
A thick layer of russet needles covered
earth around the tree, they crunched
under our feet. Whereas once long
green plumes had flexed in wind,
now branches snapped like pretzels.
The great god blight transformed
this cypress from a lesser green goddess.
A metamorphosis not inflicted by Medusa,
but death’s rigor mortis. Surgery post-mortem
started – secateurs, loppers, log saw.
The russet carpet was swept up, bagged;
amputated, the goddess now lies in state, cloaked in ivy.