The Money Tree

The Money Tree

He touched its gold trunk and felt fire
The veins of its leaves ran like the rivers of life
Emerald light shadowed his hand
He touched a leaf, pulled, captured it
Sensed happiness, contentment, envy
Feelings he never knew

Others soon wanted those gorgeous leaves
He pulled off more till the tree was bare
Could not believe they did not grow again
There had been so many

His heart began to curse his mind
He could not live without this tree
Ran from mountain to mountain, found one sapling
Stripped it

Now everyone wanted the emerald leaves
Quickly fakes designed and made
There are endless shades of green and
Paint is cheap
False leaves are better than none

Then a hermit discovered fine seeds
Many lovely trees rose up
A few reproduced quickly
Most lasted but a short time

New times saw new forests
Never seen forms, shading their neighbors
Calling to each other through their mazed roots
As the forests grew, so grew the ranks of man

Yet many did not feel this wealth enough
Crafting and cutting, creating new hybrids
Trees that grew only with the most careful tending

Until one spread like a quenchless fire
The many forests fought back but failed
One species alone cradled the Earth
Never had there been such wealth
Never had there been such need

And this single tree extended
Covering every tip of land
Reaching deep into the oceans
Climbing into space

Then the weather shifted
Pollinators died
Other plants vanished
The seas began to flood the land
But many said not to worry
Now was greater wealth than ever

But the foresters saw and knew
Thought if we construct the perfect tree
All the Earth might be saved

When will they begin their work?