Diana van den Berg

(4 November 1945 / Durban, South Africa)

Growing Up


Oh, my dear little Podacarpus latifolius,
my broad-leafed yellowwood tree,
you have been monkeyed!
You are growing up
before my eyes.

Once, not so long ago, you were so tiny
I had to protect you ferociously
from an ad hoc gardener,
but moments ago
through my window
I saw you wave with delight
as a monkey from the troop
playing in the forest this morning –
a baby monkey –
sprang into you and
on to another tree.

You are a teenager now
and one day
you will be as big as
the biggest Podacarpus latifolius
and Podacarpus falcatus
and all the other indigenous trees
in the forest
and then you will have all the monkeys
communicating and playing in you
in boundless delight
even the Alpha Male.

(20 September 2011)

Submitted: Friday, August 16, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, September 18, 2013
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