A ballad to a tree

On Cubbon Road there was a tree
Holding its arms out to the world;
Sheltering all the folks we see.
She was a beauty but they hacked her down.

Over the road it spread its shade;
Its roots dug deep, its trunk so thick;
And within it, birds and squirrels played.
She was a beauty but they hacked her down.

It sucked the poisons from the air
Exchanging oxygen for carbon dioxide
It made the heavens so sweet and fair
She was a beauty but they hacked her down.

Its branches made a cooling shade
And for a hundred years refreshed the soul
Of every passing man and maid.
She was a beauty but they hacked her down.

Men with axes, saws and knives
Came to hack and slash and bleed
The timber mafia with their bribes
She was a beauty but they hacked her down.

They were dirty little cowards all
To cut down that beautiful, harmless tree
May they rot in a hell with concrete walls.
She was a beauty but they hacked her down.

But their evil deed did not succeed;
For today the tree has shoots and leaves;
She is fighting, struggling, she will not concede
She is a beauty and she will not stay down.

By Mikhila Row,
Lotus Court, Bangalore

Poet’s note: We would be absolutely nothing if there were no trees. Sometimes we need to sit back and try to remember that there are many other creatures living in this world besides us and trees have done nothing to harm us. They are home to a bunch of harmless creatures and we should not destroy their homes. We should stop being selfish and think about others on the planet. But this tree I am talking about has fought for dear life. It has grown back with great  difficulty. I do not understand what joy people get from cutting down trees.
Mikhila Row

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