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Jan 16
I drew a picture
of a tree in winter
cold black branches
criss-crossed the white page

It made me sad
so I put it away
and forgot
I’d ever drawn it

That Spring
while looking for a pencil
I found the drawing
and gasped in shock

The tree had grown
white blossom
where tiny bees
could feed

And a robin sang
from its topmost branch.
β€œImpossible!” I thought,
hiding it away again

The idea of the tree
grew through the season.
By summer
I desired another look

A riot of green
hid the cold black branches
and sunlight burst
through every leaf

This time I hid it
with a secret smile,
let weeks pass
as I felt the magic working

Autumn came
my picture changed
branches heavy
with bright red berries

Mistle thrushes,
waxwings, blackbirds
beyond my skill as an artist
flapped and chattered on every branch

To keep them safe
I hid the picture
one more time
my perfect, living tree

Winter came -
I showed my children.
The cold black branches
did not make them sad

They could see
the coming colour,
the light, the joy, the sweet berries
and they climbed into the branches, laughing.
Alan McClure
Written by
Alan McClure
       Ju Clear
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