I’m thinking about trees, the ones standing
at the back of the house. Maples, in particular.
And how they are so clearly trees and
are not in the habit of having identity crises.
They aren’t wondering if they should perhaps
be like the evergreens next to them, or,
maybe, like the apple trees in the orchard.
After all, those pines don’t stand naked and
exposed during the coldest months of the year.
After all, apple trees have pretty pink blossoms
in spring and all those juicy apples in fall.
No, the maples stand sure with their trunks straight,
while their branches grow out their new green leaves.
They don’t seem to care if the wind blows fiercely
against them. They just dance along—their branches
swaying and bending, their leaves shimmying
with each gust. They have two aims: to root down
deep into darkness and to grow up tall toward
If anything looks like a prayer to me,
it’s how a tree lives its uncomplicated life.
How it gives itself to each day completely,
as only a tree can. How it stands rooted
no matter what comes and never tries to be
something it’s not. A tree is itself: a tree.
Poem by Kim Pollack /©2019 All Rights Reserved