My Mother’s Tree

My Mother’s Tree


My mother told me once that the trees could speak if I chose to listen.

She told me that there was much I could learn if I opened my ears.

She once grabbed my hand and pressed it to the bark and looked me in the eye.

“Do you hear them?”

I did not feel the need to lie for her,

but she looked so sorrowful as she let me go,

tilting her head back to gaze up into the branches.

Maybe it was the way her black hair seemed silver in the too-bright sun,

or the soft sway of her skirt on the light breeze,

but something whispered.

My mother told me once that the trees could speak if I chose to listen.

She told me that there was nothing more beautiful than their voices.

She once brought me close and laid my ear against the trunk.

“Do you hear them?”

I closed my eyes and listened hard,

but there was nothing to be heard.

Perhaps it was the creak of the bark rubbing together,

or the rustle of the dying yellow leaves,

but a heart beat.

My mother told me once that the trees could speak if I chose to listen.

She told me that the life that ran through them was vibrant and loud.

She once stood beside me and curled our feet around the Roots bursting from the ground.

“Do you hear them?”

I pressed my weight down into my toes,

wondering if my skin was too thick to feel.

It could have been the wind playing tricks,

or the fluttering of a bird’s wing,

but there was a tremble.

My mother told me once that the trees could speak if I chose to listen.

She told me that the soil beneath them filled them with songs.

She once laid against the grass with her face buried in the fronds,

watching me watch her.

“Do you hear them?”

I turned my eyes to the sky,

to the roar of thunderheads and the faraway crack of lightning.

It is possible that I lost my sight to the brilliant flash,

or my hearing to the deafening rumble,

but I heard the cry.

My mother told me once that the trees could speak if I chose to listen.

She told me that the ears of the mind clouded over the ears of the heart.

She once spoke to the trees in her own cloudy haze.

Do you hear me?

No.

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