Life and Death
You may be living…
A loud crash, and then bright light –
Down went another tree!
No one cared about it, though.
Happy as a clam were we!
What we could see through the gap
Was a very rare sight.
Never had we ever seen
Quite so much sunlight.
From then on, we all began
Our race to the canopy.
I wasn't big, I wasn't tall,
But the winner had to be me.
They didn't like me from the start.
They shaded me from the sun.
I almost gave up, but I didn't –
The race had just begun.
Our leaves grew bigger, taking up
As much light as we could.
The others may be advantaged
But I was just as good.
They had grown much larger leaves,
And they soaked up all the rain.
But they forgot about water down here,
So all mine that became.
Time flew when we were having fun –
Weeks had already passed.
Half of us gave up and fell down
But I was growing fast.
Many months had come and gone
And so did other seedlings.
I, however, was not like them.
I was strong and winning.
I could not remember when it was –
It was years since, maybe.
I found myself above my peers
Up in the canopy.
All the daylight, all the sun –
It was all mine, mine, mine!
I slightly tilted all my leaves,
Blocking them from any light.
They paled, they weakened, they shrivelled,
I gleefully watched them wilt
Their ends only brought me joy –
No pity, no sorrow, no guilt.
I might have been kinder to them, if there
Was more space for the rest.
But what can I do? The world allows
Only survival of the fittest.
…but that's not life.
A/N: More work for English, also to be done to a theme in the book Finding Grace by Alyssa Brugman. This one's on 'Social Darwinism'.