My life is tied to the lives of certain trees;
A cypress on the high Oaxacan plain
That once defied the cruel Conquistadors
Still in buttressed majesty remains.
An ivied oak shades gravestones in a grove
Revered by Druids in emerging time,
The island’s tale inscribed in every seam
Of that rough trunk whose darkness spoke to mine.
At pondside stands an ash whose limbs bend low
To shelter travelers all at rest or play;
The soft corona of its foliage gleams,
Guiding a summer swimmer’s shoreward way.
Dearer than these, in Autumn pride most rare,
This maple guardian of our homestead stands;
Uniting heaven and earth it weaves the air
And holds my numbered years in leafy hands.
- Submitted by Emily Pena Murphey