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Sunday, June 24, 2007

I think that I shall never see…

I think that I shall never see trees that stare back at me.
Joyce Kilmer was in New Jersey when he wrote “Trees”.
Well, he could’ve been in NC, could’ve seen the trees that stare back at me.

You see, trees are all around me: short ones, tall ones,
Thin, fat, straight, bent trunks… though some have gone.
Mostly green all over now; fern on them entwined
And lush vegetation made the ground whine.
Spanish moss a-hanging, birds a-nesting
And, of course, cicadas recently a-laying
With their empty skin, trunks they’ll be adorning.

They stare back at me in the mornings
As I sit by the window with my porridge.
Must be a-thinking: She must be Chinese.
They see me go at seven and come at five.
Must be a-thinking: She must be a-working hard.
They see me wash the car on Sundays, go vroom vroom.
Must be a-thinking: We’ll bet she’d be home soon.

They stared back at me in winters
Probably ashamed of their nakedness.
Must be a-thinking: She must be imagining
The snow-coated tress in Chicago she had been seeing.
Then the shower of pollen came
And I started a sneezing game.
Must be a-thinking: Nature could be agonizing.

Now they stare back at me each day; the sun a-shining
When everyone’s a-swimming, the kids a-biking, but I… a-sleeping!
Must be a-thinking: She must love a-dreaming.
And with my car towed earlier; I’m stuck with my pen.
The trees must be complaining: Now she’s gonna be staring more often!
Our lone spectator as with the wind, we go a-swaying
As with the rain, we go a-drumming…

Well, the trees can keep staring back at me
But they’ll never know Joyce Kilmer or me
I’m just reaffirming each day: “Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.”

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