What You Will Need to Plant a Tree

You won’t need books, or cutting-edge tools,

or class on a Saturday morning at 8,

or much in the way of gardens or lawn.


Only two things—a small patch of ground

inside your soul that yearns for some shade—

a leafy umbrella to soften the sun and

the granite-hard edges of everyday life—


and also belief that the future will come.

Imagine the time writ in delicate rings

the color of sweet maple syrup, each year.

Trust in the sapling you hold in your hand—

go ahead, dig deep, hold on, and let go.


Your dog will help you loosen the soil

in a panic of fur, a pinwheel of paws.

And don’t forget kids. They love shovels and mud,

and climbing a tree doesn’t ever get old.

You were a child once, beneath a big tree.






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