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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Old Newspaper

In the center of an intersection
in the small town
stands a dying tree
with all its branches
cut to the trunk
whose roots
are still buried in the earth
where messages were posted
for all to see

The town moves around it now
never noticing
there is no growth
because this limbless tree
this place to discuss
the life in this town
shrinks daily
as invisible sparks
easily erased
chip away at its pulp
The town still grows
but the conversations
take place
far outside of it

The lives
of grandparents
who raised the children
of the town
with a cup of coffee
and a few crackers
at a kitchen table
who fixed a watch
at the local jewelry store
their lives preserved in the few lines
of their obituaries
may completely disappear
if set into an electric file
and not some deep
earthen vault
dry and safe
kept from the harm
of solar winds
infestations
and shaking crust
will still remain
until the earth itself
is destroyed

Say what you will
about saving trees
no meeting place
no place of memory
is as comfortable or real
as a tree turned into pages
for the eyes of a reader


Barry G. Wick


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