|Epistle to a friend
'we are like trees'
Have you ever really looked at trees? Sycamore has broad leaves sparsely placed. Her thin skinned bark splits to expose new flesh, an algae green yearning to soak up sun, her countenance reflected in her few but open arms. Her shade is dappled like the locust.
But, as frilly as his pinnate leaves may be, Herr Locust's bark is dark and dreary. Oak stands erect with leathery leaves; Elm spreads his wings of shelter. Maple cools the mossy ground, then flames in autumn. Each has its niche and fills it well.
My mother's tree was a sycamore; my childhood tree, an elm. Each year I would encourage it to grow, until it could entice an oriole to hang its nest beneath its welcoming boughs. In my youth, it was cut down.
We are like trees, my friend, some brave the tropic's heat, some huddle through the arctic blast of winter. Many live for few, if humble years, some seemingly forever. Yet, Douglas fir that soars to forest heights and stunted Bristlecone have much in common.
While Mangrove traps the seashore's sand and calls it home; tall Redwood braves the fire. And when at last this mighty giant succumbs to wind or flame, new shoots spring up from roots to make a forest fairy ring. I've stood there awed by trunks older than our thoughts. They'll stand there still when we are long forgotten.
We are like trees, my friend; some have bark thick like cork; some thin, sensitive to light and Fall's chill showers. From the blue of Spruce to chartreuse-spring of Willow, they define the color green. All wave their branches, reaching upward, toward the gift of sun. All shed their leaves at the parting of their day; their rotting wood gives life.
Humanity is like a forest and I am but a solitary tree, happy to know you as my friend.
© Kåre Enga
23 juni 2005
NOTE TO RATERS/REVIEWERS:
This is poetry. It is a vignette. It is also an epistle, a letter, written to someone. A prose poem may have a bit of a narrative, but uses poetic devices: rhythm, rhyme, alliteration, image, etc. It is not a short story. It is not flash fiction. It needs to be rated as poetry first. If you feel it is prose, please comment. The line between the two is murky . Also comment whether you think it is best in poetic form or in letter, prose form. I would prefer prose form. Which do you?