My Solitary Walnut Tree

By Elisabeth Myers

You are incredible.
Anchored in abundance, my strong and splendid sentinel.
For so many years, you have stood alone.

Squirrels, birds, the occasional child
Seek shelter in your wild boughs, to snooze and rouse
Attracting mates to schmooze with sweetly sung melody.
Or shading from the glaring sun
Finding stores to crack and feast upon when bounty is in short supply
As autumn beckons winter in, with naked fingers etched against a gloomy sky
You bring me hope of longer days – and spring.

Existence here is fleeting but oh, it seems to drag
Twigs bud up again repeating fundamental links in life
The sap will rise and sag – its a chain, a constant cycle, sun chasing moon
These natural rhythms of the world should always follow through but
We have become too big for our own boots, too blithe perhaps
For we are small, and smug, and crass
The reaper’s scythe will fall as we steal from one another
Pushing beyond the limits of the mother that feeds us all.

We need to learn – to heed this time,
We need to care enough to climb up above our selfish, venal lives and sow the seeds.

New leaves unfurl as sunshine comes to reign
So too will people come and hold each other once again.
This time shall pass and then will come a day
of hugs and love and tears on faces kissed away.
Days of warmth returning us to human touch;
Some time alone is good… but not this much.

There is a strength that comes from you, my solitary walnut tree
So deeply buried in the soil your source is grounding me but
I don’t have the roots that you have grown –
and I was never meant to live this life alone.

I am an artist living in Somerset and have been part of a writing group since I moved here nearly 30 years ago. I write short stories and poetry.

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