My Hemlock by David Phillips
There was this one hemlock at Round Mountain Campground
site number eleven where I hung my lantern.
Great big. Never forget. Must have been
a hundred feet tall and a hundred
years old. Part of a grove.
That whole grove died of worms,
white woolly adelgids
they call them. Had to saw
my tree down. Nothing but
a big stump now
beside the iron firepit, concrete
picnic table I sat and ate my dinner on
many a night. That tree,
my friend, would block the stars.
I’d play my guitar some,
then just sit and listen.
Maybe the old hemlock
sang a song. Certainly
it died. And all its kin.
David Phillips is a poet and musician from Knoxville, Tennessee. He holds a bachelor's degree in creative writing from the University of Tennessee, where he also studied music and linguistics. David produces “Y'All-Ternative” on WUTK-FM, a radio show featuring classic and contemporary Americana music. He has been a guest reader at the UT Writers in the Library program.