Conversation Overheard in the Park

Every time I see these trees, I think they look like old men sitting around talking.

“Remember,
When we were just saplings?
How we thought the wind was so strong?
Thought it was going to blow us right over.”

“Well, it almost did, didn’t it?
Joe was nearly bent in two
In the cyclone in ’17.”

“Aw, he was a youngster.
He came right.”

“Ah, but ‘17 wasn’t half as bad
As that big blow in ’44,
When Carol and I lost nearly half our limbs.
I thought the rot might get us after that, you know?”

“I heard a pair of poplars the other day,
Young things,
Hardly able to grow lichens yet,
Complaining about the wind.
Ha!
What do they know about wind, I thought.”

“They don’t make wind like they used to.”

“Or snow.
I remember snow so heavy it took off branches.”

“Yes, but don’t you think the sun was brighter back then?
When the sun was up it was up,
And you knew it.
Not like this weak sun nowadays,
Hiding behind clouds,
Hardly enough to photosynthesise with.”

“Absolutely. Water tasted better, too.
When we were young.
Cleaner.
Modern water just isn’t the same.”

“Do you remember those kids?
The ones who used to climb right to the top of my branches?”

“Then there was that one,
The boy with red hair,
Who fell.”

“Broke his arm, didn’t he?”

“Do you think that’s why they did it?
Why they cut us down?”

“Don’t be stupid.
That was years ago.
Humans have short memories.”

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