tree circles 2

By Tamara Madison

Some of these trees have been here
since Jesus walked on water
Some of these trees have been here
since Vikings drove their boats
onto the shores of Newfoundland
Some of these trees were seedlings
while the Mayans were worshiping time
while the dire wolf and saber-toothed
tiger roamed North America
Some of these trees have survived
lightning strikes and forest fires
Some of these trees house creatures
of the forest floor in burned-out caves
at the base of their ruddy trunks
Some of these trees have become
living pipes, chimneys, hollowed out
by fire. They have grown beyond
their trauma and focus now
on the daily climb, the adding-on
of needle and bark, on nature’s drive
to rise above and see beyond
until the day when death will fell them
and the earth will add them to its riches.
We can be like these trees, pull on
the layers of living like fine
new garments, house the needy
in the caverns of our grief, grow
beyond the stories of our scars
stretch our branches toward
the bristling stars.

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