Joan McNerney
and Jane Hulstrunk

Jane Hulstrunk
Inspiration piece

Trees Talk
By Joan McNerney

Recounting tales in circles.
Light rings of summer
dark rings of winter.

They reveal their age.
Telling of barren winters
draped with snowy ice.
Or leafy summers sheltering
birds, bugs, butterflies.

Marking flood and drought.
Wide bands denote weeks
of all day, all night rains.
Narrow bands when thirsty
roots drain the parched earth.

Tree barks expose scars where
fire raced through forests leaving
smoldering ash and smoke.

We can read this wooden record
of circles and rings, these fine
etchings written in cores of trees.