would you believe me
if i told you trees
were the lords of the earth,
that poplars not men
were created in god’s image,
that oaks were princes
waiting for kisses
to be born again—

would you believe me
if i told you all this
while peeling the stem
from a leaf, dissecting
the delicate veins
through which air is made,
chipping away at hardwood hearts
where ring after ring
leave their mark, telling all—

this is the terrible truth
revealed at last:
we, dumb brutes,
are shadows, straw men
destined for duty
beyond our ken,
damned to lower reaches,
our puny arms lost
beneath prayer piercing sky.

Questions and Answers

What inspired “Trees”?

Daydreaming on a summer day, lying on my back in the grass somewhere and gazing up at the trees; a pretty good place for a poet to be.

What poetic techniques did you use in “Trees”?

This is a “what if” sort of poem, a fanciful exploration of an unlikely idea. The speaker talks directly to the reader, hopefully pulling the reader into the speaker’s own imagined world.

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