The Tree That Became a House
by John Haines
They came to live in me
who never lived in the woods before.
They kindled a fire
in my roots and branches,
held out their hands
never cramped by the weight of an axe.
The flames lighted a clearing
in the dark overhead, a sky of wood;
they burned in me a little hollow
like a moon of ash.
I stand here fastened in a living box,
half of my dream life
with finches, wind and fog–
an endless swaying,
divided in the walls that keep them,
in the floors that hold them up,
in the sills they lean upon.
The children look out in wonder
at trees shouldering
black against the starlight;
they speak in whispers,
searching the forest of sleep.
My split heart creaks in the night
my dead cones drop in silence.
You can find this poem in Poems About Trees.