dead tree stump



Dead wood.

It’s a good thing.

Makes for good barbecue.

Like Texas Deadwood.

Now there’s an appropriate name.

Or Coopers BBQ.

Friends of mine cut down a dead tree.

Why not.

They’re in the way.


No longer wanted.


On the other hand…

Dead wood means life.

When it piles up, birds find solace within.

As do lizards and rabbits.

Too bad the dead tree’s being dismantled.

One glance tells you it made woodpeckers happy.

And some owl or critter used it as a permanent address.

Then there’s the beauty itself.

Weathered wood.

A testament to time.

A lot of time.

Leaves and bark long gone.

No longer serving as shade.

Now rendered into a grayish-white pillar by rain and heat and insects.

Smooth and solid.

A contorted sculpture.

Glowing among the leafy green pecan trees.

But still a tree.

Like the book says.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

Now a children’s classic.

The tree.

Giving of itself.

Even though it’s dead.

Even after we chop it up into pieces.

And chunk it into the fire.

The very fire made possible by the tree itself.

There it goes.

Giving heat.

Cooking our meat.

Drawing us close.

To sit and talk.

And eat and drink.

And laugh.

While its flames dispel the darkness.


From leaf and limb to coal and ash.

A tree makes good company.

That’s Mason.

Renee Walker is a poet, writer, and real estate broker on the Square with her canine assistant, Buster. 


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