Every tree trunk looks like Gettysburg

on walks,
I’ve been struck by the quiet violence
endured by trees.
Some slow, lurching force
has boiled up from their hearts,
erupted onto their bark,
leaving cracks.  
Some cracks are deep;
Others tear unevenly
across the surface.

I yearn to ask:
Did it hurt?

These trunks bear
the battle scars of time – tallied
not as minutes
or years,
but a constellation
of ponderous cracks.

Close-up image of a tree trunk with long, deep cracks
This poem is a contribution to the 1st STSC Symposium, a monthly collaboration from STSC's writers around a set theme. Our topic this month is Beauty.