Old Tree

Old tree

bent, cracked, missing limbs,
the old tree still stands.
leaves slowly drift down,
turned brown
by winter’s first frosts.
many winters have come and gone,
and many hot, dry summers.
the tree is becoming less and less,
shedding limbs and leaves
as if reversing the growth of its youth
till one day it will become
no more than a sunny spot
in the yard; nothing left
but the burl at its base
carved into a bowl
holding the memory
of all its seasons