What Would You Tell Us?


If you could talk, what would you tell us?
About the day that they punched the highway past Powell
And about the people who came there and stayed in those cabins
Built so long ago

What would you tell us about the river
And what used to come and what no longer does
What would you tell us about the Nee-Me-Poo
Who may have come by you
On their way out of this country

If I could core you, how old would I find you to be?
Those fire scars
They tell me that you have been through a lot

Your bark is thick
And the flickrs and pileateds have dug at your base
To get those bugs
That are still trying to kill you

If you could talk what would you tell us?
about the men and women who came and stayed in these places
And the calk boots
And the fist fights
And the drinkin’
And the fires
And the music

And the young people who learned how to use a saw
Chain or crosscut
And an axe
And find their way in the wilderness

— Sandy Compton