What Is a Tree?

This is a parallel sonnet about the nature of trees.

When we dissect a tree, new insights dawn,
And scientific knowledge turns the keys;
But diagrams of sectioned plants are drawn
On dry and dead remains of slaughtered trees.

To poets, trees are many different things;
Their changing leaves are subjects of clichés;
The fall destroys all that the new year brings,
Though oaks maintain their strength throughout their days.

Perhaps the trees have life that we don’t know;
It is a fact we breathe each other’s air;
Though we can run, perhaps our minds are slow,
Dismissing that the trees might be aware.

Reductionistic science counts as loss,
And poetry’s conceits are just a gloss;
A tree is life; our highest praise is dross.

(written c. July 2019)