Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Forest? Trees? Difference?

April 10, 2012: Poem-A-Day Challenge, National Poetry Month

Today’s “Two-for-Tuesday” prompts are:

  1. Write a Forest poem.
  2. Write a Tree poem.

You can literally write about a forest. Or you can literally write about a tree. Or you can dive right into the metaphor separating the two. Your choice. Get creative with it.

I have been lost, a bit, in a couple of forests, bumping up against a few trees, the kind that keep moving when you're not looking. This is a very apt prompt for me, one that will help me figure out what part of my dilemma is forest (the underlying situation) and what part is trees (individual aspects thereof), and how to tell them apart when I am trying to find my way out of there...

The Aspen Conundrum...

This, not that.
Or, in some cases,
Do I really mean
That, not this?

I do not understand
The details of some forests
In which I find myself
Intrinsically entangled.

Perhaps each separate "tree"
Is more important than
The interconnections
Of something that is one thing.

But how can something
Borne in, born in,
The very blood
Become irrelevant?

I don't know which is tree.
I don't know which is forest.
I don't know where I fit.
Maybe I should explain...

It reminds me of
My back yard,
Where there is one
Amazing aspen tree...

And of course you know
An aspen tree
Sends out "suckers",
Attached new shoots

Which burrow underground
And eventually
Poke their heads up
To become new trunks.

Of course, beneath the soil
They're all still connected.
An "aspen grove" is,
In reality, one tree.

So when I try to
Clear the lawn of "suckers",
Shoots where I don't want them,
I am cutting the main tree.

It's kind of like family...
There's my conundrum.
I have wonderful kids
And they're all grownups.

They love me, I guess...
I know I love them...
My grandkids are amazing--
And yet--they are separate.

My kids have their own lives.
I have my own life.
I might be the "main tree"
But we grow independently.

So--what does one do
When one doesn't want
Aspen shoots all over
The rest of the yard,

But one does want to keep
A few selected shoots
Which have been pruned
And groomed into a grove?

And what does one do
When one feels connected
At the root, in the blood,
To one's children, now adults,

But also, I'm aware,
For the most part, I am
Irrelevant to dailyness--
They are they. I am I.

We are connected,
But not symbiotic,
Not identical, not aspen trees.
We're individual people.

And so, my conundrum...
Are these people, my "trees",
All in the family forest
Going to be injured

When we begin to disconnect?
Unlike aspens, which are all
One tree, we are simply
One forest, different trees...

I don't want to lose connection.
I don't want to be irrelevant.
And yet I want to live
My own life, without symbiotes.

I want my kids and grandkids
To be strong, independent,
Sufficient in themselves,
And yet, I want connection...

And of course, this is not
At all the same situation
As wanting my aspen tree
To live, but be separate

From the ubiquitous shoots
It sends out, continually,
In places where the last thing
I want is another tree.

So I'm thinking. Am I
The forest, or a tree, here?
Am I, are my children
Connected at the bloodroot,

Or are we, must we be
Separate, each entity
A member of a forest
But a different kind of tree?

I have yet to decide.
Every day, I am thinking--
And I do it when I go
To the yard to prune aspens.

© Aisling the Bard, 2012. All Rights Reserved

No comments: