Friday, September 18, 2009

The Case Against a Sugar Maple

Friday Fiction is hosted this week by
Joanne at An Open Book
Head over there for links to more great fiction.

The Case Against a Sugar Maple
By Beth LaBuff
Topic: Winter

In a clearing of a forest,
In the gusty frigid air,
A small arboreal assembly
Launched a civic woods affair.

‘Twas a hearing, in this clearing,
Of a sugar maple tree,
To ascertain her state of mind,
To gauge competency.

Witnesses were singly summoned
Forth and testified.
The conifers and evergreens,
Compelled by law, complied.

Presiding o’er this hearing was
The magistrate, a fowl.
And all esteemed the wisdom
Of the worthy great horned owl.

The first to testify, blue spruce,
“She’s a pathetic sight,
High atop a branch she keeps
A tethered kite in flight.”

“Perhaps she has a syndrome
Or is daft, to some degree.
Her trunk is thick, her branches dense.
She seems out of her tree.”

“Your honor, I have knowledge of
Some things we can’t condone.
She runs a house for boarders though
For business, she’s not zoned.”

“When frigid weather hit, birds flew—
Eviction of her tenants!
For this and other crimes we must
Insist this tree do penance!”

“Without a permit, rodents came.
They brought some nuts and fruit.
A hollow branch— her doggie bag
Where squirrels stashed their loot.”

A charge of “addled” pierced the chill.
Her verdict appeared dim.
As if to validate their claim,
Her kite looped ‘round a limb.

The owl reminded witnesses,
His words abrupt and blunt,
“You can’t pronounce her guilty,
Assume she’s innocent.”

Then douglas fir confided to
The court, his voice austere,
“I’ve witnessed bats fly unimpeded
In her upper sphere.”

“Masked bandits came with banded tails,
Were harbored from the law.
She should be hewn for firewood
Before the first spring thaw.”

“One final thing to seal our case,
A proof you can’t ignore,
She doffed her crimson autumn coat—
Littered our forest floor.”

As ending arguments were heard,
In blew a balmy breeze.
Soon buds appeared on maple’s limbs
She sprouted bright green leaves.

To their surprise, the robins then
Returned to build their nest.
The plaintiffs, without arguments,
Receded to the forest.

Owl hooted, “Whooo’ll accuse you now?
There’s none left in our midst.”
She clapped her limbs together.
The owl sighed, “Case dismissed.”

© Beth LaBuff -- August 2009

inspiration from:
Isaiah 55:12 -- NIV
"...the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."
John 8:10 -- NIV
"...where are they? Has no one condemned you?"

written for a writing challenge


Hoomi said...

I always love it when you post a new poem, Beff. Delightful as always!

Sharlyn Guthrie said...

This poem of yours was a new one for me. I love it! You are always so clever with your choice of words and rhymes. And you managed to work in Scripture to boot! You are truly a master poet!

Sherri Ward said...

Loved this one, it is wonderful, as usual!