Red Trees – a poem by Kate Rauner

Red trees,Dead_pines
Dead trees,
Burned by drought
To tinder.
Needles brown,
Dropping down,
Incendiary
Die-off.
Millions more
Before fall
Will die
In western lands.
Defensive sap
Can’t entrap
Beetles
In their bark.
Fifty years
Since such tears
For forest loss
That stretches on.
Red trees
Are dead trees,
Parched and dried,
Until they died.
I was struck by the term “red trees” to describe newly dead pines. California is not the only American state suffering drought. Trees die, grasslands burn, and the face of the land changes. Drought is part of natural cycles in “the Great American Desert,” but global warming is expected to exacerbate the current conditions.

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