It all looked so benevolent
at first: the trees so graciously
bowed down to meet the challenge sent
from near an eye that could not see.
They arched obligingly, at cues
from air that whipped and whirled to play
a game that it was doomed to lose;
wind-quickened limbs were glad to sway.
Some trees did lean too far, and cracked—
the older, the less vigorous—
and some fell, as wild gales attacked
in weather games turned murderous.
While we feared we might lose our lights,
the oaks and pines feared for their roots,
but many had stood through fierce fights
before, and few were raw recruits.
At battle’s end, most oaks and pines
remain, still stretching toward the sky,
from strength to strength—but what defines
the end is that all wind must die.
Exhaustion, physics, or a truce
requires that every gust succumb,
while oak and pine and birch and spruce
regain their equilibrium.
Calm settles, calmer than before.
The air concedes. Does it repent?
And did it mean to start a war?
It all looked so benevolent.