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Death and the Yew tree

by Vic Keegan

Poem Yew

Yew hedge

Most country folk will tell you all
If you cut one down bad luck will befall
In churchyards their seductive leaves are spread
See how they thrive among the sleeping dead
Unlike willows, oaks and other trees
The yew was never made to please
Everything about it you will find
Is poison to the human kind
Its leaves, its trunk, the wood inside
Even the shavings when sawing the tree
Could end a life that no one could forsee
Medieval longbows made victory sweet
But how many died manufacturing this feat

Yew’s legacy is death and bones
From Agincourt to Game of Thrones
Nations will rise and nations will fall
The Yew tree will surely outlive them all

Why did they put such venom in a tree
Maybe that’s the clue to its longevity
The reason it lives for thousands of years
Is no dark chemicals dare come near
Its poisons keep predators at bay
So it always lives that extra day

Yew, we can get you Hall of Fame admittance
As long as you promise – keep your social distance.

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