You, Me, and a Tree

Painting of a tree (Listening to Music painting by artist Nicole Wong)
(c) Listening to Music painting by artist Nicole Wong

Sometimes I wish I were a tree,

To spread my deep roots underground,

To know the land, to taste the soil,

To grow tall and strong, to stand my ground

Against storms, earthquakes, and landslides,

And with my stateliness to keep at bay

The crows and the woodcutter’s ax.

Yes, I wish I were a tree,

To draw my imperfect symmetry on the sky,

To be drenched by the rain, dried up by the sun,

To creak and to bend in the wind, in the storm,

In the winter to bear a burden of snow,

In the spring to be such a perch as singing birds cannot refuse,

To be tickled by ants, by woodpeckers to be annoyed,

To feel my leaves dance to the music of the wind.

Yes, I wish I were a tree,

In a well-trimmed garden or park, in a forest wild and dark,

Next to the house of a man, or on some street or other,

Even if I would have to put up

With dogs lifting a leg and pissing on my bark.

The benefit of growing near people would be

That I would feel you treading the ground

Passing by me so often and so much

Drinking the breath of my leaves

That I would get to know you, that I would understand,

From the hearts you scratch on my bark,

From the footsteps you leave on the ground.

I wish I were a tree,

To stand still, not to have to run,

Not to have to go into the world

But to wait for the world to visit me

To be firmly and quietly free,

To be free from freedom itself.

21 thoughts on “You, Me, and a Tree

  1. Don’t we all wish our stateliness could keep at bay, the crows and the woodcutter’s ax.
    That was my favorite line.
    Well done.

  2. What an imagination ! Trees are lovely and of course our oxygen . Can’t think of earth without trees.

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