I was once a sapling,
No, I didn’t say a sap;
Brightly new, tender and green
Like a gift without its wrap.
Straight and true all day
Reaching toward the sun,
Always standing upright
When each day was done.
Like all things fresh and young
No thoughts of disease or age,
Except to eagerly accept
Each birthday’s turning page.
Life was full and busy
With friends and family;
All landmarks came with ease
My days were all carefree.
I took it all for granted
As if ‘twould always be,
Until a storm with winds
Grasped and tore at me.
Roots long undisturbed
Came from the family tree,
Twisting and hurting,
Treating me like mere debris.
I began to feel each slash,
Each branch began to sway.
My bark once protective and thick
Began to crack and fall away.
I thought I deserved much more,
Apparently, life did not.
Accomplishments and beauty
Obviously, all for naught.
Nature, once my friend,
Placed roots and holes in my path.
Every act or duty for me
Now held much aftermath.
I looked upward at the blue
And shouted, “Life can’t be this hard!”
Then along would come another storm
Leaving me more battle scarred.
“This isn’t what I had in mind,”
I shouted to the mist,
As each animal in the forest
Came by to take a piss.
“Now look here, I’m tired of this,
I can’t take much more,”
Wailing into the wind
Wondering who I should implore.”
Then a soft voice blew into me.
It said, “I hear you tree,
Do you think I don’t have care
Nor listen to your plea?
“I’ve heard every leaf you dropped,
Every flake of bark you’ve lost;
I saw the creatures relieve themselves,
Remember, we all pay the cost.
“Because you are a part of this
Life’s not all spring and buds,
It’s also blazing sun, icy winds
And cold harsh winter floods.
“You trees all think you’re special
And in some ways you are,
But that doesn’t mean exemptions.
Life itself is just bizarre.
“Don’t the birds still rest upon you,
Their song reverberating your core?
Wildflowers still nestle in your shade,
With ferns trusting you with their spore.
“I know your concern for changes,
The ones you’ve had to endure
But you need to recall, you silly stick
This life is just the overture.
“You’re no longer straight and tall,
As you’ve begun to bend and break,
Which means you’re no mistake.
“Chased away by ornery crows,
Cardinals still seek to make a nest.
Within your branches scurry squirrels
Before nightfall brings their rest.
“On hot summer days you lend shade
To those trees who stand nearby,
Yet you stand here and question Me,
Always wondering ‘Why?’
“I will always be here
And you can trust in me.
You just have to let it go
And become a leaning tree.”