The Tree

I have a story
I sing a song
So-called glory
Conclusions strong
But if you stop for a close look
Observe my scratches – there is mirrored
A dreaded tale, oft overlooked
Of the many things I have endured

I breathe a sigh as you walk by
You don’t come close to ask why
I quiver so, why I am dead
Why I have fallen on my head
Why all my limbs are cracked and dry
Only then will you know why

So many of my kind are passed
Without a glance
Would-be spectators move so fast
They have no time
As they believe
To seek words of mine
And take their leave

But my story is worthwhile
Dug down deep, it brings no smile
I’ve seen a hundred years go by
Witnessed all the ways men lie
How they long to steal and kill
Their hate for hatred so weak-willed
Yet having endured my lament thus far
My tale for you I will unmar
Therefore listen carefully
Perhaps some lessons you will see:

Patience is my kind’s first rule
Though you may find it a virtue
We place no thought into our faith
Mere children, we seeds lie in wait
Faith in ourselves? Perish the thought!
Faith instead in Providence is wrought
Provide the sun, the dew, the rain,
Until we see the sky again
And then protection do provide
From herbivore and heavy stride
Prevent, O Lord, thirst and stones
Until strong enough we have grown
To sprout seeds of our own…

I learned that as the skies grow dark
The minds of men make their mark
I also learned that I will bleed
When I am stabbed or brushed by steed
Men brandish weapons large and small
(I cared not to count them all)
The expression of their faces chief
Was confusion at schisms brief
Sides were taken, many killed
The swung their weapons, breath stilled
Until my green blood mixed with theirs red
It dried and pooled, and in its stead
Are my scratched – wounds of old
Telling of those whose lives were sold
Not in leading as they were born to do
But following a course few knew

From this tale, listen well:
Your life is too precious to sell
To those who lead you to demise
With no vision, no words wise
Be not a rebel without a cause
Lest death reach out with her claws
She will snatch and steal your joy
Before you’ve thought to seek envoy
Fear not death, I say, but her lack of reason
She seeks opportunity in every season
Why so quick to kill those who gambled their lives?
The few asked learned and were wise:
It’s easy to take the life
Of one who sees good in strife

See my scars and know their feel,
They speak of mindless caress of steel

A memory… so long ago
A melody who did bestow
Upon me her deepest desires
Her beauty – thought of herself as ugly mire
She found me, and she ate my loot
(Faith alone hath brought forth fruit)
She played and sang beneath my arms
Until the day she lost her charms
The music faded, winter set in
Her lips grew cold from heart within
Punished and discouraged, she
Who found no friends – sweet melody

Listen now to my lament
I had no power to be spent
To save a life taken from my bough
With innocent hand brought down low
Attempting to escape her fears
Locked inside her heartless peers
What would this child have become
Had she received any welcome?
Melody should be symphony
But the lifeless child hung
Her song silenced, the cold wind sung
And me – a sturdy instrument
To take a life and give lament

Action was not mine to take
But my tale, though full of ache
Can teach you now to change your ways
And see that no other young life pays
For absent justice, that subtle sting
Slowly faded remarks always bring

My story did not end with hers
In grief, activity occurs
Earlier than one would choose
Necessary lest we a lesson lose

In my giant boughs now grown
A lovely little house was shown
A man and wife discovered me
And concluding great beauty
Built their home right next to me
And they became my family
Their children grew up playing in my branches
Life is worth living – this now my stance is.

Alas a storm came
Of which I’d never seen the same
Rain poured and wore at my skin
My bark was weathered and grew thin
My leaves were shaken and illuminated
By light that flashed and quickly faded
When at last the harsh wind blew
And made me fall right down to you.

Upon this ground where I had fallen
I found rest from troubles calling
Now the sun shines bright and warm
And I find I have survived the storm
Faith was where I began
Perseverance where I ran
It took a dreadful life and death
To find truth in the wind’s breath
I’ve lived, I’ve fallen, this is true
I’ve lain a hundred years and knew
That on this ground where I fell
Contained is hope, and place to dwell
My message is given without fail,
And here I must conclude my tale.

– Cynthia Jeub, 4/22/10

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

    And today’s earth day, no less! Let it be known: we are NOT earth day enthusiasts. This was merely a coincidence.

  • http://comptines.over-blog.com nicole

    Bravo! Very good!!
    My last published book has just been put on sale. It’s title is “The gift on a tree” :-)
    the stoty of thisgift can be found here…