A Maple tree discusses with the local Bamboos its impending demise
“What have I done to deserve it?”
Asked the maple tree to the bamboo.
“I have quietly grown in their garden,
And have caused no complaint hitherto.
I have given a great deal of pleasure,
And have offered them summertime shade.
I am still fit and spry as the seasons go by,
As I enter my eightieth decade.”
“Of a sudden my owners are anguished:
‘The foundations will break up and crumble.
The roots when it rains will be blocking the drains,
And the house itself totter and tumble.
This tree is upending the patio,
And look at that brickwork, that wall!
I am suffering pangs. Why, that branch over-hangs
The next garden. I dread lest it fall.’”
“But isn ’t this usual with humans?
For years they will gladly enjoy you.
But one seed of doubt and they ’ll panic about,
And find any excuse to destroy you.
They ’ve given me such cramped conditions.
I have suffered a tinge of neglect.
But respecting their space, I have lessened the pace
Of the natural growth you ’d expect.”
“I admit I shed leaves in the autumn,
And other detritus all year.
It is true I ’m unable with no stainless steel cable
To keep my arms up in the air.
I agree I have caused minor damage,
That my roots have been causing alarm.
But really they oughta have given me water
And I ’d never have done any harm.”?
“I ask you, who made the decision
To plant me so near to their dwelling?
It is fair to proclaim that they too are to blame.
It is them, and not I, who need felling.
I’?m proposing a counter-injunction.
Their death sentence clearly needs dodging.
I ’ll insist it ’s not me who should soon cease to be.
Rather, they should demolish their lodging.”