WHEN GREAT TREES FALL by Maya Angelou

When great trees fall,

rocks on distant hills shudder,

lions hunker down

in tall grasses,

and even elephants

lumber after safety.

 

When great trees fall

in forests,

small things recoil into silence,

their senses 

eroded beyond fear.

 

When great souls die,

the air around us becomes

light, rare sterile.

We breathe, briefly.

Our eyes, briefly,

see with

a hurtful clarity.

Our memory,, suddenly sharpened,

examines,

gnaws on kind words

unsaid,

promised walks

never taken.

 

Great souls die and

our reality bound to

them, takes leave of us.

Our souls,

dependent upon their nurture,

now shrink, wizened.

Our minds, formed

and informed by their

radiance,

fall away.

We are not as much maddened

as reduced to the unutterable ignorance

of dark, cold

caves.

 

And when great souls die,

after a period peace blooms,

slowly and always

irregularly. Spaces fill

with a kind of

soothing electric vibration

Our senses, restored, never

to be the same, whisper to us.

They existed. They existed.

We can be. Be and be

better. For they existed.

 

Miss you Dad!

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