On Forgetting That I Am a Tree

A poem in which I am growing.


A poem in which I am a tree,

And I am both appreciated and undervalued.


A poem in which I fear I did not dig into the past,

Did not think about my roots,

Forgot what it meant to be planted.


A poem in which I realise they may try to cut

     me down,

That I must change with the seasons,

That I do it so well

It looks like they are changing with me.


A poem in which I remember I have existed

     for centuries,

That centuries are far too small a unit of


That time found itself in the forests, woods

     and jungles.

Remember I have witnessed creation,

That I am key to it.


A poem in which some will carve their names

     into my skin

In hopes the universe will know them.

Where I am so tall I kiss the sun.

Trees cannot hide,

They belong to the day and to the night,

To the past and the future.


A poem in which I stop looking for it,

Because I am home.

I am habitat.

My branches are host and shelter

I am life-giver and fruit-bearer.

Self-sufficient protection.


A poem in which I remember I am a tree.



© Ruth Awolola from Rising Stars New Young Voices in Poetry (Otter-Barry Books)