THE TREE THAT WALKS - Poem by Mandy Coe
The tree that walks sways along the dusty road,
bringing its shadow along the dusty road.
A giant: the tree that walks.
On the forest highway, lorry drivers
hauling neat-cut logs, blink and cross themselves
trying to unsee what they just saw.
It crosses the railway lines, the tree that walks,
the five-fifteen, all horn and brakes
makes commuters spill their drinks.
On the airport runway, captains
push up captains' hats to scratch their heads.
Jets roar, but the tree that walks does not pause,
its leaves sway and caterpillars swing
from invisible threads. Birds sit tight
on their nests so not one egg falls.
A film truck follows the tree that walks,
footage appears on the rolling news.
A general offers to blow it up. A politician
suggests talks. Headlines shout: TREE WALKS!
Up our dusty road it comes, to a dusty town
where dogs' tongues hang out by miles
and all the grass is dry as bone.
And when the fuss has died down,
we fetch pails of water for the tree that walks.
Last night we heard an owl for the first time
and this morning the tree that walks
let its seeds fall like rain.
Today we gather by the derelict barn to watch
the mayor hammer in a new sign:
‘Welcome to Walking Tree Town'.
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