15 October 2014

Yard Work



The white pine is half dead with more orange
needles than green—I face it helplessly
every limb supplicant. Chemicals failed
to kill parasites between its fingers—
I feel its pain and know it wants to live.

Three feet high when I planted it, it’s now
thrice my height, nicely filling the half yard
vacated by grand-mom sugar maple—
my hope to replace lawn mower and
rake with soft walks on moss and pine carpets.

We pray together. I take pictures for
the nursery. Nursery! May we still
rock its cradle to nurture? Let it shake
its body loose of illness, do yoga with
me, breathe together into the night.



Posted for my prompt 

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Tree(s)


Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast



21 comments:

Gail said...

Beautiful

Sumana Roy said...

so beautifully written Susan......this poem reads like a prayer..

humbird said...

Many trees got damaged this winter, so I feel for your pain. Like your words 'We pray together. and 'Let it shake
its body loose of illness, do yoga with
me, breathe together into the night.' ~ Let us hope.

dsnake1 said...

at times we do feel for them, those trees, as if they are our close friends.
this weekend, workers will be cutting down a rain tree at my workplace, a healthy, majestic specimen of a tree, to make way for a car park. it will seem odd, not to mention much hotter, after it is gone. :(

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh I want it to live! I feel the same way about a willow bush I planted as a baby across the street in the trailer....it got so huge and bushy and wonderful and is still living there in the midst of the horrible abandoned industrial-dump created there by the next owner......sigh. My baby!

Unknown said...

I had birch trees that grew up with my children so I understand the connection. Hope she lives!

Jae Rose said...

To have a connection with a tree is a special force...I hope she keeps breathing and the parasites are swept away and leave you together in peace

Kerry O'Connor said...

The sight of a dying tree always fills me with sadness.. you captured that so well in the relationship portrayed here between gardener and prized tree.

Myrna R. said...

Oh, I do hope your tree friend survives. Prayer, yoga, good intentions will surely help.

Brian Miller said...

smiles...i like the relationship you have with your tree...doing life together...sad though that the parasite has gotten it....the loss of a tree that has grown up with us is quite sad...

Laurie Kolp said...

Aww... reminds me of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I really like the last stanza, Susan.

Old Egg said...

As Brian says trees in our gardens are part of your family. There may be root problem. Let's hope it can survive the winter.

Rallentanda said...

Established tree growth destroyed is a terrible loss.

Arathi Harihar said...

tree becomes such a major part in our life..when we see it suffering and when we cannot help it's sad...

Grace said...

How tall it has grown through the years ~ May it still continue to nurture your garden with seeds and shades ~

Anjum Wasim Dar said...

In response to Dr Susan's beautiful personal tree poem I wish to share some lines from an article I wrote on 'Freedom': Freedom to smile, freedom to drive, freedom to have a lemon soda drink anytime of the day or late night, yes this was the real freedom, freedom to listen to music, watch movies, read books ...be it fact or fiction , computers or management, above all freedom to pray and be grateful to Allah for all His gifts. I thanked the Almighty when I got home safely. The purple flowers bloomed proudly on the tree outside our house. How tall it has grown in the past years. Yes, this was our tree. We had planted it, nourished it, watered it, supported it in times of tenderness and cruel storms, trimmed it in times of development, and stood by it in times of pain and sorrow, welcomes and partings; when the Season changed and all was bare, dry and hot; but there was hope for spring, hope for flowers, hope for freshness and color and with it we gave it the Freedom to be on its own ground ,stand proud on its own roots and shine with the Glory of strength Grace and majesty today….Freedom is truly a Gift from Nature.

annell4 said...

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the little tree....

Gen Giggles said...

Great poem, love the idea of not mowing.

Panchali said...

Very perceptive.... Susan!! I feel your anguish...Old trees have suffered the slings and arrows of climate, insects and diseases, Yes, they must live on...Long live your babies in the garden.
Beautiful...

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Oh, I hope your tree gets well! You made me almost fall in love with it.

Mary said...

Susan, I can feel the care and hope you have for this tree. Trees become like children after a while, don't they? We nurture them from young on and hope they grow strong and continue to thrive. I hope something can be found to help this tree shake its body free of its sickness. A powerful poem here, friend.