Monday, April 2, 2012

Magnolia Tree

Magnolia Tree
(Thank you, David Wallace)

“We are all constantly negotiating our identities.”
David spoke this simply complex truth.  I rarely pause
to consider negotiating with myself
, I thought
falling back to my parent’s backyard.

I was six, and this tree seemed so tall -
I couldn’t tell if it was rooted in the ground or
falling from the sky.  Burying my face in its open blossom
thinking how it could swallow me whole.
Its structure was the best playground I could ever imagine - 
providing a cool retreat from the thick summer
heat of August in North Carolina,
its thick branches distanced perfectly to allow climbing
as high as I dared, which was never very
as I was afraid of getting away from the familiar
ground.  It still invited me to escape.

My son Elliott, now almost five, loves the shade of that tree,
imagining ninjas lurking behind its huge leaves
and monkeys swinging on the branches above. After
picking its cones and tossing its seeds, he looks
up into the web of brown and green wondering
aloud: “Is this a giant, or is this a tree?”
I kneel next to him, enjoying the feeling of cool soil
against my bare knees.  “What do you think, buddy?”
His eyes still searching for the blue sky through its limbs,
“I don’t know…” And I pause to consider our

No comments:

Post a Comment