1. Dead so long, you can see right through them. The branches fell first, then the crown, then the bark sloughed off like snakeskin, and the cores collapsed, leaving suggestions of strong columns spun upward in helix fashion. Below the shifting leaf litter and sand, roots entwine with limestone. What’s left has put on the pocked and scored look of karst, but a tree remains a tree.
2. Dead, but still intact, this one has some juice for chalk-white fungi spiraling around its trunk. Shelves for tree frogs, pale question marks, frilled platters for dolls.
3. Still alive, this one ripped the floor with it. New name: windthrow. Had something loosed its anchorage and prepared it to let go? A hole opens in the canopy, saplings stuck in the pole stage wake. The earth that ripped with the tree, once part of a forest floor, now named a tip-up mound.
4. Pine cone. Alone on the floor, waiting for a fire to free its seeds. So it can start over.