if I were a tree

if I were a tree
I'd be a weeping willow
standing strong
straight and true
with my branches
reaching down
toward you

if I were a tree
I'd whisper secrets
from the wind
listen carefully
as my leaves rustle

if I were a tree
I'd invite you
to daydream
the day away
alongside me

if I were a tree
I'd sway in the breeze
offering shade
on a hot summer's day
you're welcome
anytime

if I were a tree
I'd smile inside
as you laugh and love
sharing joy
beneath my branches

if I were a tree
I'd weather storms
cold with ice and snow
rain and lightening
and in between

if I were a tree
I'd shield you
from prying eyes
hidden by my branches
that touch the ground
offering a safe haven

if I were a tree
I'd rest in fall
going dormant
for the winter
storing energy
waiting for spring
time to awaken
for summer loving
brief and fleeting
before fall
falls again

if I were a tree
I'd offer solace
and be a balm
for the hurt
on the inside
just lean on me
I'll be there for you
if I were a tree
I'd be a weeping willow

Written because I love weeping willow trees. I'd been thinking about this poem for awhile. Even before a recent Facebook conversation with a friend, Kevin Stock, who wrote, "Sitting under a weeping willow tree, soft summer breeze blowing, pen and paper at hand…is poetry to me." I commented, "If I had a bigger yard there would be a weeping willow tree in it. Is your tree real or poetic only? ~ Just Wondering" He replied, "Both actually. My Grandma used to have a weeping willow that was probably the most beautiful one I've ever seen. At least it was in my eyes. I have since always thought they were the most beautiful trees ever created. I was just thinking this morning that sitting under that tree, like when I was a child, would be a great place to write. The tree itself is real, me writing under it is poetic." I replied, "How wonderful. Both Real and Poetic. There was a weeping willow tree, with branches long that draped over the sidewalk, as we'd walk or ride our bikes going to and from elementary school. My sister hated it when the branches were trimmed so as not to brush against the passersby." Memories from childhood are so pure and strong at times.

As an adult, the weeping willows I admire most are located at Cantigny, in Wheaton, IL. We used to go every year, sometimes more than once, while we visited family that lives nearby. There are tanks you can climb on and a First Division Museum that draw My Family of Boys there. The weeping willows are planted side by side in rows. Huge ones. Once we had a picnic within the shelter of the drooping branches. I could skip the rest of the gardens, the tanks and historic tours and happily while away the time underneath a weeping willow. You can see pieces of 'em in some of the pictures at their web site.
http://www.cantigny.org/visit/group_visits.aspx

The weeping willow tree pictured with this poem, "if I were a tree", lives in a park in Nashville, TN. My husband took the picture, knowing my love of weeping willow trees, when we stopped there to tour The Parthenon on our way to Alabama on June 26, 2010.
http://www.nashville.gov/parthenon/

Kevin Stock's poetry is ever emerging at:
http://takingstockofwhatmattersmost.tumblr.com

P.S. Kevin also has a blog here, at My Opera, which gave me the nudge I needed to start writing in the open. I'm thankful for that. It's been good for me.
http://my.opera.com/stoxback/blog/

© 2011, Janean Baird Turquoise Tangles

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8 thoughts on “if I were a tree

  1. Mom writes:When I rode bikes with Sarah to school, there was a weeping willow whose branches hung over the sidewalk. She loved to ride through them. One day they were trimmed back and we were disappointed. One day the tree was gone and we were REALLY disappointed!

  2. LizBeth writes:"if I were a treeI'd weather stormscold with ice and snowrain and lighteningand in betweenif I were a treeI'd shield youfrom prying eyeshidden by my branchesthat touch the groundoffering a safe haven"Thank You for these words in particular. I'll show you soon.

  3. Originally posted by anonymous:

    Mom writes:When I rode bikes with Sarah to school, there was a weeping willow whose branches hung over the sidewalk. She loved to ride through them. One day they were trimmed back and we were disappointed. One day the tree was gone and we were REALLY disappointed!

    Mom, I'm so glad you remember the pieces and parts of growing up that I don't. Like when the weeping willow on Crestwood was cut down. I did mention this tree briefly in my end notes after the poem. It's the only weeping willow tree I remember from childhood. I'm sure there were more around town, but that's the one that stayed with me all these years. Long after it was cut down, I suppose. Love, Janean

  4. Originally posted by anonymous:

    LizBeth writes:"if I were a treeI'd weather stormscold with ice and snowrain and lighteningand in betweenif I were a treeI'd shield youfrom prying eyeshidden by my branchesthat touch the groundoffering a safe haven"Thank You for these words in particular. I'll show you soon.

    Oooooooo, LizBeth, I can't wait to see what you're workin' on now!!! A painting, I presume? *waiting as patiently as I can until The Big Reveal* ~ Janean

  5. nice post…Janeif you were a tree, will you let me for climbing upi want to build a house on the top a house for me to play with my tree.. 😀

  6. Originally posted by LD37:

    nice post…Janeif you were a tree, will you let me for climbing upi want to build a house on the top a house for me to play with my tree.. 😀

    What fun imagery in your words, dee!I have a feeling I will revisiting Trees As Subject Matter. I sorta love 'em! Thanks for reading my poem, "if I were a tree".~ Janean

  7. Originally posted by Wulpen:

    Very nice post

    Thank you, Erwin. It was a fun one to write. I may be another tree a different day, but this day I was a weeping willow.

  8. Very nice post

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