The Leaning Christmas Tree


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,

But you are a creature of mine

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.”


Sue Falkner-Wood

Revised, 2018

14 thoughts on “The Leaning Christmas Tree

    • Higher Perspective, thank you. This means even more coming from you having read your lovely blog and site for chronic pain sufferers. Conversations of the heart go so much deeper than any other kind. Have a joyous and comfortable holiday/Christmas season. Let the squirrels scurry, let the tiny flowers bloom and go with the wind, trusting all the way. Also leaning but not falling, Sue

  1. Well what a lovely read funny and true
    I am certainly leaning at the moment.. have diver back with being bloated all over and nothing seems to stop it and if it does I’m allergic to it
    Seeing dr later
    Hope you are improving sue

    • Chris, I know you get so exhausted not only by your multiple problems but also from the pure complications of it all. I know I do, too. Yes, third week of virus but better yet still sleeping more than usual. I’m not usually a nap person. Hope you can clear up the diver this time with liquids and soft diet, i.e. potato soup.
      I hate for this to take some of the peace and pleasure out of your holiday season. I am definitely decorating less this year and just now trying to get all wrapping wrapped up. Want to be able to bake a little but our family is so small in this area at least, so much sweet stuff is wasted. Hopefully we can each embrace the meaning of the season and let it help us through these miserably painful bodies. Love you much, Sue

  2. What a wonderful poem! So much meaning and so true. Thank you for sharing. We will have a q too. I will cook and my sis will bring desserts. Our son and his wife will cook steaks. No grandchildren but 2 grand dogs will be here. My sister’s husband just got out of the hospital today. His defibrillator went off and had to be repaired. My sis has heart problems now too so I had to push her in a wheelchair some of the time at the hospital . I had to get through my chronic pain to be there for her. It’s what I wanted to do. I hope you have a joyous Christmas and thank you for letting me share my whining today😇

    • Gail, my FB friend, thank you for you kind words about my poem. Everywhere I look I see comparisons to this life many of us have to lead. I hope your sister’s husband gets along okay now after the fix. It’s awful to be reliant on equipment that can fail…just like us. I’m sure your two dogs will enjoy any leftover steak that happens their way. Have a blessed and joy filled Christmas, okay? Fondly, Sue

  3. Yea sue I’m on a fasting day see how it goes..maybe tomorrow something soft
    Had my blood results I had took yesterday good news all normal
    One was a ca125 test so was worried about that,,he was checking because of the bloating
    So just sitting by the Xmas tree listening to music and with a wheatbag on pain
    Allowed myself a hot choc…bliss
    Weather dull wet and windy..good times to be in and warm
    I love the smell of baking in the house but resisting for the sugar content ….hot choc ok tho !!!

    • Chris, oh my dear friend,Don’t you sometimes wish we could be “gutless wonders.” There is nothing to be said these digestive regions and mine also give me far more trouble than they are worth. I had a baked potato for dinner so that says a lot. I am baking a couple of things to stick into the freezer. Lemon bars tomorrow and strudel the next day. Dear Jim is going to do the shopping for me after I get my grocery list complete and it gives me more time to rest and wrap. I got quite a bit done in the last couple of days with two packages off. in the mail, poor guy had to stand in line at the post office for over an hour today. Procrastination is an ugly thing when it smacks you in the face.
      Still dragging my self around but better but never truly well. Ups and downs for both of us is a way of life isn’t it my dear? We will chat again before the day so take care of yourself. Love you, Sue

  4. Sue, a beautiful poem describing our journey with chronic pain!
    I too am fighting a virus with so much to do on one of the busiest weeks of the year!
    I left a post for you under “Memories Are The Sweetest Part of Christmas”. This title is so true, but sometimes those wonderful memories of Christmases past can cause feelings of sadness! Wishing you a Christmas Day filled with Comfort, Peace and Love, creating wonderful memories for you in the days to come.

    Wishing everyone the Joy, Hope, Love and Peace of Christmas.
    Pommum Brenda

  5. sue
    Lovely blog. Glad you are starting to feel better. We are both starting to feel better here also. I am actually sad to say the antibiotics are making me feel better. So the Lyme’s must be real. I am not so tired or feel so yukky all the time. I was taking some probiotics, but they made me nauseous. So I stopped them.
    I baked oatmeal cookies and lemon pizzelles yesterday. I love oatmeal cookies but only make them at Christmas, thankfully. B loves all sweets and if they are sitting out, they go in his mouth.
    Chris, so sorry that you are feeling bad again. B has been taking his prednisone and is feeling better. Sue, I too have to wrap gifts. I have to box up my sons gifts and ship them out tomorrow. Then wrap the remaining ones for here. Nikki’s coming up after Christmas for a visit.
    Take care all of you

    • Tonie, just had message disappear. Glad you are better, not so much here. Good B is sticking with his meds for all the eating this season. I also love oatmeal cookies with lots of stuff in them like raisins, nuts.
      I have never heard of probiotics making anyone sick before but….Hope the antibiotics just helped your virus, as they can after 10 days but not in the beginning. Still holding out hope it is not Lyme’s for you. Still so wonderful to have you on the up. Love, Sue

  6. Been busy last few days..went to the coast again sun was shining that day …when we had a late lunch a group of chatty church ladies were having an aftrernoon was really interesting listening to all their life and gossip.then watching the sea and the fire roaring all senses stimulated
    Met dh out for lunch next day and look around shops. I bought her a mustard coloured jacket in the sales . It looked so good today as the weather was dull. …like a happy coat….
    Then our gs came over this evening so along with food shopping it’s been a busy time
    It’s good you are feeling a bit better sue and good old dh for queuing for that time for you..that’s love….
    Glad you are feeling better and I hope now that this is all good and all will get better .and to have B with you for Xmas much has happened for you both this yesr

  7. Chris, glad you are getting out and also have seen your DD and GS. Hope your Christmas is filled with joy and your health behaves and you can eat something that hits the spot. Happy Christmas to you and your family dear friend. Love, Sue

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