The tree beside our porch bears
all we hang on it,
wind chimes, a basket
of red blossomed begonias,
but its bare branches 
with spare leaves and its algae-
covered trunk speak of old age,
illness. It will bear these burdens
now, but not forever.

As much as we speak of saving it,
I fear the tree is an empty shell,
a facade, decay
at its core.  Any Buddhist
can tell you resisiting what is,
brings certain pain.  I wonder
if the squirrel’s feet detect an echoing
hollow husk.

We’re awaiting the diagnosis 
of the arborist, all family members
pacing the waiting room.