A fallen oak has left a hole in the forest canopy,
on giant roots that twisted aside tannic soil
to leave a shallow pit.
From there the massive trunk made a radius of destruction,
everything directly beneath
a saber slash in the flank of encroaching neighbors.
When it tumbled on itself
cracked branches sliced
surrounding vegetation like giant scythes,
leaving evidence of former glory
engraved in the woods,
and a larger circle in which competition
was shaded out.
The passage was swift,
some creaks and groans, sharp snaps, an extended crash,
Every bird fell silent.
Dust rose to fill the gap in the canopy.
Now the air begins to clear.
The reedy song of a thrush
sneaks through distant trees.
Squirrels churr, shake branches.
Worms, millipedes stir the dust-topped litter.
Sun floods the hole with healing warmth.
An untouched seedling
pale and weak
moves its only leaf
to face the light.