The War Within

Middle-aged cherry,

appears to be merry,

boasting three trunks from the base.

But they war for light

as they grow in this fight

to see who will finish the race.

The first trunk to sprout

can never win out

as it’s backed up against the forest.

The other two

taking light grew and grew.

They sing in the front row,

a chorus.

Theoretically, one tree,

but reality says three.

The eldest surely will die.

For though it’s the tallest

its foliage the smallest,

all it can see is the sky.

Though it was first,

it nurtured their thirst.

They thrived on its every breath.

Til the eldest gave in,

branches fell,

it caved in.

They survived because of its death.


Photo by Mar Startari, 2019

Middle aged cherry with three trunks sprouting from the same location.The newest trunks receive all the sunlight from the east side of the barnyard. They are full and rich. The eldest trunk is backed up against the forest. Though it is taller, this is because it must reach higher to gain any nourishing rays. All the leaves are atop. The rest have rotted off in the lack of light.

If it were not for the eldest, the others would not have begun growing or been sheltered so they would thrive. One day, the eldest trunk will blow over, hollowed out by

Maria Startari-Stegall