Number Three Tree by Melanie Gendron

Lightning struck her 

antediluvian limbs,

rending her in two,

yet she weathered steadfast.

A sprig before Christ’s birth,

she forms an archway

for forest dwellers —

deer, mountain lion, wild turkey,

rabbit, coyote, human — 

all gain from her passage 

to beauty.

It took a year after I fell 

to manage the walk 

to Number Three Tree.

Cradled against her massive trunk,

healing energy soothed my back

like an effervescent waterfall.