Eat a tree

by kvennarad

Eating trees is the easiest, most natural thing to do.
I know a man who lived happily by simply coppicing
a beech wood; he survived long, and was as lean as a pole
until old aged felled him; his last word was “Timber!”.

Some people – gluttons, I should say – unbolt their necks,
unhinge their jaws, and move through holt and weald
chewing what gets in their way, leaving raw stumps,
rotting boles, supine trunks, a devastation;
they claim not to be a plague, however, that windblown seeds
will repopulate, that festering remains will be new
and fecund habitats for voles, caterpillars, and fungi;
their view is debated amongst xylophages, and it is noted
that saplings bend to avoid their progress! But even they
do not disobey the words of the prophet, carved on tables
of ebony, that say:

Thou shalt eat no growing thing that is
of lesser height than a woman,
neither shalt thou eat
the bowman’s graveyard yew,
nor the cricketer’s willow,
not his cork oak, from which
bat and ball are made…

For those of you who still think it odd, let me point out
that you already consume trees; from the greatest to the smallest
– Black Forest gateau, chocolate log, root beer,
bourbon and branch, bread sticks, twiglets.

But to de-digress and re-address, the gourmets amongst us have
their favourite dishes, our haute cuisine whose hauteur is the tree-top;
mine – I’m a gal of unsophisticated taste – is the baked slice of sycamore,
garnished with a side-salad of copper beech and birch leaves,
dressed in pine sap.

An acquired taste, but – stop and think – oh, the sense it makes
to eat a tree today, to take the woody way of sustenance. Toothpicks
of may-thorn jags are available for afterwards.