Poem: Lighting Strike

Lightning Strike

by Alan Brown

The lightning strike
at the base of a mature,
sturdy aspen.

The fire charred its way
through the trunk,
so deep it crashed
to the ground
under its own weight.

Others stood strong,
avoiding the same fate
albeit not without scars,

their branches reaching out
toward one another
seeking life,
summoning strength
to overcome their loss.

The earth did not
smolder long
as emerald shoots
emerged through
the cinders.

New life, growth,
and healing
all made possible
by the sacrifice.

The creatures
who once found food
and freedom
in the high branches,

now seek safety
within the black,
hollow carcass.

The survivors
offer shade
to the fallen one
from the unrelenting sun,

a warm blanket of leaves
before the winter snow.

They do not forget,
they peer down,
honoring the one who
stood with strength
and dignity
by their side.

Alan Brown is a 23-year Army veteran who lives among nature with his family every day in Eagle River, Alaska.