A Eulogy for a Tree by Philip Kolin

A Eulogy for a Tree

Once it was a child’s
dream house filled
with magic and a skylight
to catch stars.

The neighborhood aviary
performed concerts here
every spring and summer
early in the morning; late at night. 

An artist loft, it hung
frescoes and murals in the fall;
the branches, ready brushes,
the leaves, a variegated palette. 

It harvested apples, too, then,
green, red, yellow,
bright as the Christmas lights
it wore in December.

But as winter set in,
beetle borers girdled its limbs
and torso in black crepe;
it stood stiff as an obelisk

Not even owls visited its branches. 


Philip Kolin has published 9 collections of poems the most recent, Reaching Forever, was published by Wipf and Stock in 2019. He has coedited three collections of poems dealing with the environment—Hurricane Blues (with Susan Swartwout); Down to the Dark River: Poems about the Mississippi River (with Jack Bedell); and The Night’s Magician: Poems about the Moon (with Sue Walker).