Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Tree – Pat Wilson

The Tree – Pat Wilson

The day the big tree went
There came two rather seedy-looking men
Full of mysteries of their craft.
They spoke loudly yet confidentially to each other,
Nodded to me and my brother,
Said good morning to my brother’s wife,
Cleared away all the little children of the neighbourhood,
And addressed themselves
To their big, supple saw.

Two or three hours later under the tree
They were still only half-way through.
The cut had a tell-tale concave scoop
Where each had been pulling down at the end of his stroke.
There was much previous talk of wedges,
Much arranging of ropes,
Calculation of angles,
And my brother and I were taking turns at the saw.

And so we all got friendly there with each other,
Putting the mysteries away
Under the great macrocarpa tree.
And when it started to lift and heave
And when the earth shook and the great sigh went up
As it fell and settled,
Then all the birds came flying out in a cloud
And all the children flew in with shouts an cries
And started a battle with the cones
And made their huts and houses in the fir.

O'Sullivan, V. (Ed.). (1979). An anthology of twentieth century New Zealand poetry. Wellington: Oxford University Press.

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