The Monastery Tree

How old are you?
You growing moss and lichen, sage-scaled fingers
and hair
where blossoms used to be?
Last year’s leaves are like spent cocoons
Brown and brittle, I think they would crush in my hands if I held them
But look
even so
at the crown of your head are many little mouths
opening to the sun,
drawing all the way down through what appears dying,
down through limbs with mating moss to toes digging up a cool drink of musky earth.
You are alive – not simple garden structure for the winter
 I see blue against your crunchy brown
Can you receive my adoration although we never touch?
How many black-capped chickadees have you sheltered?
How many spiders have made their homes in your folds?
How many children have you sent off to college?
100,000? a million?
 And how hard did you labor in your growing, fighting cold and drought –
showing off in spring and summer?
I want to love you in your golden years with wrinkled bark and ingrown roots – balding here and there, growing hair in funny places
I am more sure than ever
when I think of all you’ve weathered,
that there is a place for me.
 
 spring 2006
 
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2 Responses to The Monastery Tree

  1. yeuxrotos says:

    Stunning. I especially love the line, “Brown and brittle, I think they would crush in my hands if I held them.”

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