This rigid, ghostly stump is tangible.
It is no longer quick and malleable,
Green and thriving, satin wood.
Drained of viscous lifeblood,
Bare branches, angular and cleft,
And coarse bark, bristly and bereft,
Are a prickly pumice for cows and sheep.
The lightning tree can no longer weep
Feverish, waxy tears into sodden earth
To soothe barbed roots still anchored to its place of birth.
© Kim M. Russell, 2016