May 2016

My daughter says
every tree has a soul.
Some are good, some are bad.
But always, a soul.
My daughter is young enough
to know these things.

My daughter says also
some trees have a spirit.
(But only the good trees.)
People, too.
She is old enough
to say these things.

Guided by spirit, we can grow
from the crack in a boulder.
We can lift sidewalks.
We bend and yet are strong.
We flower, we bear fruit, we give seed.
We are where the raccoon sleeps,
the hawk nests, the monkeys play.

Without the spirit we twist,
we wither, we break.
With the spirit our roots take hold.
My daughter knows. So young, so old.

This is one of my favorites. I had to delete it and two other poems from Hello Poetry while a journal published it. The journal, an anthology called Dove Tales, is out now, so here's the poem back where it first appeared. And thank you, everybody who first appreciated it here. You gave me the confidence to send it out.