The Canteen Mystery
Cool Living
Definitely not Brahms
Throwaway Lines
My Grandfather
Trimming a Eucalypt
Rivers I have known
Friday 13th
Night Visitor
Plain Song
My new career
Daisy - a love sonnet
Wetland Survival
...yes, it's in the eye...
Fear of Forests
Cup Day Chat
Winds of Change
Hating the Wind

List of 2008 stories

Trimming a Eucalypt

Why trim a gum tree?
They are meant to grow as they will
their trunks rising high from the ground
before they branch - safer for bushfires.
Their limbs spread at all angles
unlike their European cousins
more orderly by nature
and pruned each year.
They grow wide as well as high
hard to place in a planned landscape.

If you find a large gum in your garden
What’s to be done? Leave it if you can.
But gardens come with houses, power lines:
“That gum must be trimmed” the edict comes
“Right now. Strong winds will blow,
the whole street will be blacked out,
Trim it now!”

Next day sees the Senior clinging to his ladder
saw in hand. The first cut is made,
then the lower cut, the first limb falls
with a dull thud – a good start.
But a higher limb must go –too close
to the lines. The ladder is not high enough,
Is a bit unsteady – “Come hold the ladder,
I don’t want to fall!” And so it goes,
In time the job is done, no broken bones,
the tree looks good, the eucalypt is trimmed.

It is the last gum in the street:
It deserves to be saved.

© fmcFrances Coll 6-10-08

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