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Yarmouth's Elm
by Gary Margolis Ph.D

Some of my leaves saw the ships
drifting in, before they fell.
And my branches, you can imagine,
felt every wind.
Even then I can’t say I lived
too long before I was felled,
before I became one
of the fallen.
Some days I saw everything
not meant to be seen.
I was my own tall ship,
above and below our town.
You can read what you carved
into me and what the wind left,
two centuries of rings.
What’s a ring for,
if not to stand for a name,
to be counted,
when there isn’t a name
anyone remembers?
I remember the day
you sat under me,
home from the sea.
It was hard for you
to imagine anyone
would want to comb
the salt from your hair.
Or hear what you saw
far away. Where the sun
was your only shade.
And the invisible fish
swam circles around
your ship. Where
the sailors rarely used
names, except for
their masts and the wind
in their hair.
Today is the day I still
stand invisibly here.
Today is the day I become
my Yarmouth’s air.

 

Herbie the Tree
by Dennis E. Wilson

Herbie the tree stands grand and bold
People say o’er two hundred years old
Better times, it’s said been had
‘Cause on this day his neighbors’ sad

His branches high, long shadows cast
A distinguished, shielding watch has past
As children played, old folks with cane
In this gentle town of down east Maine

Of your great grandeur we all have read
Towering ten stories above our head
Your canopy’s seen from miles around
The magic of your strength’s yet found

Before the war, a revolution
Patriots stood to discuss solution
Initials carved by lovers long old
You’ve kept the secrets you’ve been told

So many years you’ve blessed with shade
We’ve been most cautious with our spade
Your comfort joined the summer breeze
Because of you our toil’s at ease

You lost your friends all to Elm’s blight
Watched as young men marched off to fight
You’ve heard the cries of mother’s call
While standing watch, brave soldiers fall

To our good friend who’s watched us grow
Our love for you, you’ll never know
It’s time to say goodbye at last
You’ll soon become a memory past

Yarmouth Town won’t be the same
When future men doth speak your name
And visions on our old Main Street
As winters blow in snow and sleet

Old Warden Knight has grown old too
He healed your wounds and cared for you
He sprayed for pests and pruned spoiled branch
He breathed in you a fleeting chance
To reach round you takes family five
Your stately trunk no longer thrives
We’ll hang our heads throughout the town
When lumberjacks will strike you down

But fungus comes, you can’t fight back
You suffer from Elm trees’ attack
Your secrets kept of liberty
You will not suffer our destiny

Dennis E. Wilson
Virginia Beach, VA
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
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