The old oak tree was felled
because, she said,
it didn’t fit the yard

It blocked the view from the window
and from the street.
Too much shade killed the grass
and all the falling
of acorns, leaves, twigs,
nothing but messy trash,
“It had to go”.

The trunk stump was left
cut cleanly, showing its rings
like the grooves of a vinyl record
So, I cut a slice as thin as I could
and placed it on the turntable
to see if it would
play its story for me
as only the needle understood.

The sounds,
sometimes like the discord of a cat
walking gently on piano keys,
others, like the concord
of a Beethoven symphony.
And story,
the joys of summers birthing leaves
of laughing branches in a tickling breeze
of aviary caroling in a sea of green
but so too the melodies of pain
of blizzards, tornadoes and lack of rain
storms, diseases and temperature extremes.

I listened intently till the very last ring
and the long roaring draw
of the mechanical saw
the crash
the silent note
the only note
that kept playing in my head
like a regretting dirge
now wondering why
“it had to go”.