Not a poem. Perhaps a wish……or a memory. I've seen pictures of ancient oak trees in Britain. Huge, thick trunks topped with gnarled branches. Any symmetry the tree had was lost long ago. But they hang on. They do hang on.
Do you remember?
You were an acorn, fallen from a great branched oak; a nimble pawed squirrel tucked you under leaves in a nearby clearing, and you lay forgotten under the winter snows. The Spring sun was warm, the showers were cool and welcome. The hard shell around your infant self cracked, and you began to grow. Your roots worked their way into soil rich with time, old leaves and moss. Your leaves remembered the sun; you’d felt that warmth before. Seasons passed with a rhythm as old as time; the days grew longer, warmer, brighter, and you stretched towards the sun.
The long bright days came and went; the days grew shorter, cooler, greyer, and you drew back into yourself as the sun was lost in the mists. The cold times passed, your leaves grew green and full again.Birds came again to dart through your branches and build their nests. The small, scurrying, furry creatures helped themselves to your wealth of leaves and seeds. They took shelter in the lower branches as the storms passed from spring to summer again.
Your roots threaded their way through rich soil, hard pan clay and rock; you touched other roots, and sensed the whispers and memories of trees that were old when your parent tree was still a seed. Your seeds were carried to other clearings, reached towards the sun and shaded the earth. The decades of leaves enriched the earth, while mosses grew on your weathered bark.
The life of a tree covers generations of men, but finally even a great tree begins to fade. Branches break away and the canopy of leaves begins to thin. Your life is drawn down, back to soil enriched by your leaves. And the sunlit clearing opened when you fell, your children begin to grow.