A Tree Epiphany (2007)
November 20, 2012 § Leave a comment
A Tree Epiphany
Oh, if I had but one sapling to confide my wisdom in!
Like how to set in his roots and grow strong leaning into the wind
I’d tell him of red ambition to scrape the cool blue sky
And of verdant satisfaction when my branches reached that high
I’d teach him to conserve every golden ray
So he wouldn’t become famished ‘ere dawn birthed the day
I’d demonstrate how to stretch his arms out far and wide
So the birds could build their nests in his boughs, if they tried
Who better to impart advice than me about being a tree?
For I am the mightiest of all flora, undoubtedly
My circumference is massive; tales of my height are no hoax
There is no axe could chop me down even with five thousand strokes
But no, I am alone inside my solitary fold
My knowledge meaningless and my stories left untold
For my roots drank all the water, and the light my leaves did loot
And so there never prospered ‘neath my shade a tender shoot
Now the sap within me is thick’ning, the time is drawing hither
When, as the law is written, I shall fall after I wither
Now I’d trade all my height and become a blade of grass
For a singular companion with whom the time to pass
I am left with only this truth – a cold certainty:
That there’s little joy in growing, for no one has grown beside me.
Perhaps if I had only one more chance to mend my ways
Then it’d no longer be about the criticisms or the praise
I’d speak out every thought and I would follow every whim
And all my knowledge, to my son, I’d give it all to him.
© 2007, Joshua Owens
Here’s the handwritten original: