Forty-Something Years in Ninaland

Tree Talk


Photo by Mark Bouldoukian on Unsplash

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?


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