Twisting Pepper Tree: "The Old Witch"
Montecito Ave., Mountain View, CA

The Old Witch Is Dead

Twisting and turning, carving up
space in all direction— gnarly
Pepper Tree on Montecito Ave

now with yellow ribbon around
you— "Heritage Tree Removal"—
death sentence for your demise

as no leaves bloomed in a year
so they labeled you "Dead" while
your sculpturesque presence still

delight to all those who pass by—
I've called you "The Old Hag" but
you're more graceful than the two

giant redwoods towering behind
as I walk to Rengstorff Ave
each day catching Bus #40.

Now "the old witch is dead" not
crushed by a house from Kansas
or drowned by water with splash

from Dorothy, but by chainsaw
Forestry men— gone, gone, gone
but in my mind you're still shining.

    — Peter Y. Chou
        Mountain View, 6-12-2020