Family Trees for Bastards: Shorn

 

 

shornIt’s no one’s fault this tree’s heartwood is all that’s left standing, that its bark and outer trunk lie shorn around it. This deep in the woods, and far enough from a lumber road, you can be sure the shearing is not the work of man. Pileated woodpeckers, bark beetles, fungi, old age, and weather are the only actors here. Maybe some microscopic disease.

In another generation or two, the heartwood will be less than history, and more than history. Even now, the air and other roots absorb its molecules. No one’s fault, no one’s shame.

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