I lost my mother to Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma over a year ago. Her dear friends planted a Red Maple in her memory at a neighborhood park, where my mother enjoyed walking and bird watching. I had the pleasure of visiting the maple this week, just as the leaves are starting to turn. It reminded me of a poem I had written when she was sick and so I am reposting “Me In The Tree.”
My feet are planted firmly on the ground, As my toes drive deep into the damp earth; A sturdy foundation for my erect torso. Standing tall, my arms spread wide; My fingers stretch toward the sky sprouting leaves. My eyes stare as two woodpecker holes. I wait and I watch. For hundreds of years, I drop seeds from my branches; Little seedlings sprout from the ground. My large frame protects them from the weather, But the shadow from my canopy blocks the light, And my seedlings fall back to earth. I watch and I mourn. Night and day, Animals climb over me. They eat from my branches and chew on my bark. They dig out the bugs that bore holes in my trunk. I hold their homes in my strong arms, And protect them from the wind and the rain. I watch and I smile. Time goes on; The city grows around me. People rest under the shade of my branches, And carve their names in my trunk. I hold small children in my arms, As they swing from my branches. I watch and I sigh. Bumped and bruised. The night falls, as men and women Carry their homes on their backs And lie on nearby benches. Their sorrow is palpable; Their need unfathomable. I watch and I weep. For days and days, Torrents of rain pour from the sky. The earth is sodden And my toes lose their grip; My ample weight pulls me down, As I crash to the ground. I watch and I wait. I look to the sky; The clouds part and the sun shines. People come with their machines. They admire my beauty and transform me; Into logs and planks, I become a sturdy shelter; A home to a kind family. I watch and I rest.
2 thoughts on “Me In The Tree”
Love how the poem follows the tree’s life cycle – and how it doesn’t mind being cut down! Did you do the artwork?
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Thank you! I used filters on a photograph that I took of an old giant ficus tree in southern Italy.
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