Matthew Brennan
Old Trees in the Woods, Doomed to Re-zoning

They’ve been here longer than we’ll ever know,
grand guardians of all that’s still beneath
their sway. Their leafy dark green branches bunch

so closely that they interweave. From one,
a hawk takes off and skims their tallest crowns,
vaults into clouds that sometimes almost graze

the waving outstretched limbs. Oaks tower over
saplings in a nearby neighbourhood,
yet shade and shelter them from day to day.

The saplings will survive somehow, bereft
of the knowledge the oldest trees transmit. Their roots
reach out to teach the others how to thrive,

to grow in silence and slow time. And then
when dusk breaks in and darkness floods the woods,
sunlight reaching just the upper branches,

only these trees, so far outlasting all,
can hold onto the gleams they soon will lose.