Dear Tree

That you could whisper through unseen webs

and care for the earth with a mother’s love—

I didn’t know, I just didn’t know.


That you could harbor so much in your cells,

sequestering carbon that threatens the world—

I didn’t understand, I didn’t know.


That you could give even more than your heart,

as if food and firewood weren’t enough—

I was plain ignorant, shamefully so.


That you could shade the ground that I walk,

and under your branches you shelter my soul—

I thought I knew. But what do I know?


That when death comes, you surrender the carbon?

It’s not enough to say I didn’t know.

I must atone for it, rapidly so.




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