by Darrell Petska
I met a lonely tree—no others grew nearby,
no hands to shake, no intermingling words.
Birds were doing what they could, and imaginably worms.
The wind? Compassionless. So I spoke to the tree,
said I understood: the tree was very old, like me.
What does one say to a very old tree? Compliment
its hill, its view of the city and the heavens above?
From its crown descended a sigh. Nothing more.
Day progressed to night. There indeed rose a moon,
but distant and cold. The birds had departed.
The worms? Who could tell what they were up to?
So I said I would stay till morning—when suddenly
the tree asked would I be missed?
upon which it lofted me
gently amongst its boughs in dream.
Darrell Petska’s poetry has appeared in Muddy River Poetry Review, Chiron Review, Star 82 Review, Verse-Virtual and widely elsewhere (see conservancies.wordpress.com). Darrell has tallied a third of a century as engineering editor for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 40 years as a father (six years as a grandfather), and almost a half century as a husband. He lives outside Madison, Wisconsin.