Lone Elm (36)

//Lone Elm (36)

Lone Elm (36)

I asked an old friend to
Help me identify a tree
I had never seen before,
And I think we were both

Surprised when she said
—Hesitatingly at first, then
With cautious wonder—
“I… I want to say it’s an elm,”

Both of us knowing it
Defied logic, odds,
Aware of how the disease
Had arrived long ago, killing

Ninety nine thousand
Nine hundred and ninety nine
Elms for every one remaining,
As here, rooted, solitary. Alive.

Who knows how?
How we stay friends,
I mean, knowing what
We think we know,

That life goes on,
So busy, so bothered, so
When the phone rings,
And the voice, carefully

Composed, bridging
Distance, decades,
Cracks—In a single syllable,
Our world falls, fathomless,

While the lucky elm, miraculous,
Feels the sun on its leaves,
The rain on its roots, and,
Missing no one, misses nothing.

By | 2019-10-19T09:25:30-04:00 September 30th, 2019|Farm|4 Comments

About the Author:

Forrest Pritchard is a full-time sustainable farmer and New York Times bestselling author, holding a BA in English and a BS in Geology from William & Mary. Smith Meadows, his farm, was one of the first “grass finished” operations in the country, and has sold at leading farmers’ markets in the Washington DC area for two decades. Pritchard's books have received starred reviews from The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, NPR, and more.


  1. ellen polishuk October 1, 2019 at 7:30 am - Reply

    lovely. thanks for letting me love on your elm with you 🙂

  2. eliot brenner October 1, 2019 at 9:19 am - Reply


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