Maximilian Speicher

A Tale of Trees

                june 21, 1995

Dear diary,

My dad, my best friend, and I built a treehouse today, in the forest behind our house. Summer break is great so far.

                august 27, 1997

Two trees in our garden must be cut down. Someone came and examined them and said they were beyond saving. But if you ask me, they didn’t even try. Something’s eating them from the inside, I think. I call it the Black Bug.

                july 9, 1998

My brother, my best friend, and I go play in the forest every day. Either behind our house or in the one on the other side of the valley, across the village. The forest is our Eternal Fortress, and we are its kings.

                may 30, 2001

There’s no better place to think than alone in the forest. Trees give much better advice than people, most of the time. They know how to listen and don’t interrupt you. Sometimes, my best friend joins me, and we talk about girls.

                january 19, 2007

A mighty warrior named Kyrill who came from Newfoundland has completely leveled the forest on the other side of the valley, across the village. But this is just a minor setback. The rest of our Eternal Fortress holds.

                august 4, 2016

The years come and go, and the forest is still the best place to think. It’s my own personal time machine. And trees still give better advice than people. Actually, I have the feeling that people’s advice gets worse the older you grow.

                june 8, 2020

We went to the little river in the forest today and just lay there on a blanket and wondered how old those trees might be. All the things they must’ve seen. All the attacks they must’ve endured, from Black Bugs and Kyrills alike.

                june 8, 2021

The old trees by the river are no more. After all, the recent heat waves got them. But again, no-one even really tried to save them. It physically hurts to see their remains standing as lifeless, crooked monuments. I can’t bear to look at them. I wrote a haiku about it:

                plum rain on
                pristine forest . . . . . . . . . . . . plum rain
                on wasteland

Alas, the fortress has fallen. All that’s left now is to retreat, without a crown, to the Land of Memories. As long as it lasts.

Maximilian Speicher (www.maxspeicher.com) is a designer who writes mostly sitting on his balcony in Barcelona, watching his lemon tree grow. Although he’s been writing poetry on and off for many years, he only recently started submitting it. His first published poems appeared recently in Impspired.
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