The Sound Of Slaughter

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

Early Thursday morning the quiet serenity of the east side community of River Road in Eugene was awakened with the sounds of huge trucks laden with the killing machines of contractors paid to destroy a community of 40 trees and the wildlife that called it home.

Like the paid mercenaries they were, the woodsmen soldiers — just following orders — ignored the cries of the Willamette River neighbors who tried to stop the slaughter that soon began. For this witness, the sounds of breaking limbs torn from the giant trees, and the crushing of living matter brought to me images of what a genocide must sound like when women, children and the aged and infirm cannot get out of the way of the machines of war and the mercenaries who drive them.

Some 30 thriving trees lost their lives to the war on homelessness, yet not one of the 93 units of the new market-rate apartment complex will help those most needing homes.

In my ears and heart, I shall forever hear the muffled screams of those majestic trees as they were repeatedly pummeled by those huge machines until they had not one remaining waving branch. If a tree falls in the forest, the answer is yes, it makes a sound. I can only pray those forest trees fall with greater peace than the trees taken at the hand of woodsmen soldiers here in Eugene, on May 13, 2021.

Miaya Sustaita