Charioteer in a sun-yellow vest drives a truck’s extended metal jaw to lop off branches of a dying oak,
then slides to carve the wasted hollow trunk. However frail, that tree won’t give up life, hoarding its last breaths. A crowd forms,
mumbling about the end of fallen branches and wider space for the pour of lucid sky. A woman slips a scarf over her head,
silent, respectful of what will pass, an oak remembering a single egret — white flash on green – resting on a branch.
Why do we gather to watch brightness topple, drawn to a tree that breathes just as we breathe, and holds our handprints on its grisly bark?
And why should a wrecking ball and crane call us to watch the fall of a great building door by splintered door alive with history?
When God destroyed the cloud-high tower of Babel, the people stood, not asking why, but staring at scattered bricks and wondering just how
workers had planed their edges to hold fast — as here we wait, as though a great oak’s dying might reveal the mystery of our being.