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by Lionel E. Deimel


I think that I shall never see

A structure harder than a tree.


A tree that must be labeled well—

Each sub-structure, each type cell;


A tree that makes my bio tough

And makes me want to yell, “Enough!”


This subject would be grand for me

If only God would kill that tree!




In my sophomore biology class in high school, I was asked to identify the structures of a tree trunk on a test. I stayed after class for a few minutes and jotted down the original version of this poem, which scanned badly enough that I decided to show only my revision here. Apparently, the poem was good enough for my school’s literary annual, The Almanac, though I shudder to think that I am perhaps remembered for what appeared in the 1962 edition. Need I say that the poem is a takeoff on Joyce Kilmer's “Trees”? (Written sometime during the 1961-1962 school year and revised 12/28/2001.)

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