Posted by: Irene Fridsma | November 25, 2011

Silent Trees

In the summer of 1954-approx., there were mysterious deaths of many of the song birds especially the robins in Michigan. We picked up the birds and brought them to MSU for study to see what was killing them. It turned out to be DDT poisoning. This poem was inspired by the events of that summer.

Silent Trees

The summer of the rented horse
when a young child’s life was simple
we searched for dead birds everywhere
and rode around the neighborhood

When a young child’s life was simple
we cried for all the birds that died
and rode around the neighborhood
and scared the beauty shop ladies

We cried for all the birds that died
and the horse stuck its head inside
and scared the beauty shop ladies
who screamed and closed the open door

And the horse stuck its head inside
while empty trees swung in the breeze
that screamed and closed the open door
we hitched the mare to concrete blocks

While empty trees swung in the breeze
the wild wind spooked the rented horse
we hitched the mare to concrete blocks
but she broke loose and ran away

The wild wind spooked the rented horse
past the sad pile of poisoned birds
she broke the rope and ran away
back to the barn to find her stall

Past the sad pile of poisoned birds
while shop ladies watched her run by
back to the barn a mile away
with two young cowgirls in pursuit

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