Of forests pure with rapt delight:
Of pale-limbed birch and maple rich
In crimson hues in autumn's pitch,
Of scent of cedar, scent of pine,
Pink-crowned cherry in spring's prime,
Acorn, willow, oak, and spruce:
Nesting grounds where songbirds roost.
And all the pomp and majesty
Of tall and stately redwood tree.
You might have lived a thousand years
But for my angst and ghostly fears.
Emotions won't stay in my head,
So your fair life is snuffed instead.
Your corpse cut up ten thousand times,
Tattooed with ink in dull black lines.
All this I do in foolish hope
That these words I use to cope
And the advice I sometimes scrawl
Onto your corpse may someday fall
Upon the ears of those in need,Upon the lost whom I might lead,
To share the comfort that I know,
To show them ways that they might grow.
But life is not a graceful dance.
We bump and fall and hurt by chance
And hope that somehow by God's grace
We leave the world a better place.
I ponder all the sacrifice,
Unknown to me, to bear this life.
If my words can no one seize,
What have I done but murder trees?
* * *
All the while half-edited chapters flopped all over the living room floor, I moaned and groaned to my aunt about my guilt in not spending the last hour and a half of my evening pushing myself to write more.
“You write plenty,” she said, exasperated. “You’re killing enough trees.”
That little comment stuck in my head and wriggled out into my notebook in the shape of a poem, rhymes and all. It reminded me of old-timey poets and I kind of liked that.