The Tree

How many days and nights did I walk down this path?  Sometimes for a cigarette, sometimes for food, sometimes just to touch you, stand beneath your branches, cry gently for the pain of those suffering or dying nearby. Now you too are gone – bleached earth where roots and trunk once were, gaping sky in the void of your absence. Of all the trees here, why were you chosen?  Why was this the first thing I saw as I arrived back at the hospital this morning?  Change is constant – why am I so slow to accept?