The trees of the forest gathered to consult
Knowing nothing of melting polar ice caps
It had not escaped their leafy notice
That the lake was rising higher day by day

The willows broke down weeping at their loss
So many scattered seeds just washed away
Without seedlings what future could there be?
The poplar was fed up with so much drama

A few brave ash trees thought it time to fight
With mighty roots clinging to brown earth
They might take back the land the water claimed
Poplar felt the proper sense of horror at a war

The wise old oaks spoke last and practically
The time had come for choosing a new life
The forest should retreat into the higher hills
Leaving the valley to the all-consuming lake

Following their elders, the trees all shifted
Leaving the banks alone and casting seeds uphill
Poplar thought them all so many sheep
To go to so much effort just to stick together

So poplar stayed as the forest moved away
He dabbled roots in water happily
He did not miss the trees with all their talk
Or notice the earth beneath wash down to nothing

Poplar was quite alone when his wood began to rot
But still felt proud that he had held his ground
Better to die in the same place you first took root
Was his last and most self-satisfied reflection


Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev/

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