Saturday Poem


Trees know these things –
how to survive by bending with the wind
stretching roots to quench thirst.

When branches break from winter’s wet snow,
trees know how to heal wounds
make do with what remains.

They even know how to die with grace, rotting back to soft earth,
offering themselves for what comes next.

If I could today
I would become that tree,
poised in front of this green metal chair
where I sit this early spring afternoon.

Empty of color,
its branches wait patiently for their blossoming
as months from now they will accept their dying back to grey.

Clinging to this craggy hillside
it stands tall, crooked, framed by endless sky above,
steadfast ground beneath.

If I could today
I would borrow this tree’s belonging in the world.

Stephanie Shafran
from the
Bouttelle-Day Poetry Center

Smith College, Northampton Ma.

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