I’m looking at a tree
as if it explains something about me
I’m shorter than the tree
so tree: who knows how long I have loved you.
I see you bare in the winter
I want to put clothes on you when you are leafless.
I want to tell you about bark
about how it grows around my neck
the leaves build a crown around my head.
tell me your secrets, oh great tree.
tell me what I’m missing when I’m not here
standing next to you in the sun.
tell me about those tuesdays
when the asian boy next door risks everything
to climb your branches and leaves nothing
on the ground, he takes himself fully up there.
I think about climbing trees but I feel too old
and out of shape to do it right.
you know your yesterdays
if you had hands you would read them
but instead, we read the rings around your stump.
we walk by you, we don’t even see you anymore.
we only see our own reflection in the sun.
but it’s you, it’s been you all this time.
you have been watching me.
tell me tree, who am I?