Deborah Way

A Tree Unpruned

I wonder what it is
...to be a snowflake, born on a winter's morning,
Gone under a mid-day sunbeam,
Never seen by human eye.

And I wonder what it is
...to be an ice-covered black mountain,
Lost in a range of my kin,
Glimpsed for a moment by humans airborne, but never
Trod upon by human foot.

I wonder what it is
...to be a tree never pruned.
From acorn to aged and diseased-
-naturally grown.
Never redirected for the sake of lines of power
Nor for someone's esthetic requirements.
A tree that doesn't pause to sigh or fear or dread
Such things as Topiary
Nor contemplate the why of it.

I wonder what it is to be a tree in a grove of these,
My own kind.
All leafing soft and fluffy every summer, rank and file...that's fine
Because with autumn comes to each a unique but complementary color.
To be never hasting through the current season, nor wisting for one gone.
Graceful even in the bareness
The indignity of winter. Waiting for that one day.
The day the ice makes us sparkle and crack
-oh it hurts some-
But the flashing blinding light.
A single morn of ice-bright drama. It is enough.

Some humans try to be the tree unpruned.
And it is good to notice and to wish.
But in knowing enough to wish, is not the thing proven
Impossible to have?
Such things are not possible for creatures with souls.
...At least
Not in this world.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 17, 2009

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