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The Mourners

A stump is all that remains of a weeping willow that has died. Around him are his mourners; cowering and crushed hostas, with drooping flowers peeking out. But in the mist of all this sadness new life is on its way. The green sprouts are forcing there way up to the sky, fighting to survive.


The buzz of the chain-saws is still bouncing off the trees. The smell of freshly cut wood is still in the wind. The reminders of its destruction are all around, the secrets it had will never be told. It/he is gone. He was one hundred-years old and so wide that two or three grown men couldn’t put his arms around him. The memories he had were many: a teenage boy reading to a little girl, sisters playing make believe, birthday parties, and family reunions. With all his memories hcouldn't’t share, he died.

He had a dark ruff bark, and long flowing vines with skinny green leaves when he was young and healthy. Much enjoyment was received from the young willow, cool shade, singing branches in the wind, and sitting on the swing hanging from his branches. Slowly his bark rotted and turned gray, and his vines became few, the leaves turned yellow and broke easily and so, slowly the old willow died. Even as the old willow died he provided shelter and food for many. He made homes for squirrels and birds, Mr. Opossum even lived between his roots. He provided shade for the plants below, and fertilizer as his roots rotted.

Before he had died he was able to see the little girl grow up. But still she would read or play hide and seek near him. When he was cut down he provided warmth for her home. The people who had cut him had to cut him into separate chunks. They let his big, heavy, round branches fall from the sky onto the beautiful plants bellow.

But even in death he was genital none of those plants were killed, wounded yes but they all recovered. The story of this ancient weeping willow is remembered throughout the garden. His stump is still there no one would dare remove it. The stump stands like a reminder that even if something is dead it does not have it be forgotten.

Now where shade one covered the ground there is sunlight. The sun urges daffodils and crocus to bloom in spring. Some day when the little girl has grown up and moved away a new younger willow tree will be in the old ones place. But the willows story will never be forgotten it will be passed on.



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