The Saga Of A Sycamore Tree

Submitted by Shubnoor Chhena on 16-Nov-2017

The Saga of a Sycamore Tree

When I was but a sapling, newly sprung from the ground,
I would watch the Chieftain’s daughter put on her feather crown.
She watered me well, for days that stretched into years,
Until she was laid down to rest, and I watered her with tears.
When I was in my early youth–young, strong and proud,
I would take care of the pilgrim’s child, as he made shapes out of clouds.
And when the pilgrim’s child grew old, and slept longer than something ought to sleep,
I realized he’d stopped breathing, and silently, I began to weep.
When I was about middle aged, wearing ivy like a robe,
I would listen to the farmer’s girl, talking about things that no one knows.
And when They took the girl away, claiming she’d gone mad,
I had no one to talk too. I became lonely and sad.
When I grew old and wise, and my ivy robes began to droop,
Soldiers from both sides of war would gather by my roots.
Paying no attention to which side they were on, they would laugh and talk and ramble.
Until one chilly fall morning, they did not come back; for they had been lost in battle.
When I had reached my twilights, old and bare of leaves,
Two young lovers scratched on my gnarled old trunk, a heart surrounding an ‘L+E’.
They would sing and dance and smile, looking fondly at the glen,
But then one morning they had a fight; they ran off, never seen again.
When my trunk had long been felled, and my ivy was brown and dead,
An elder child sat by my once-was roots, and with a bag of books, she read.
I waited for the elder child to leave just like the rest,
But day by day, she came back, almost like she had never left.
And when the girl was old and tired, using my log as a grave,
A seedling sprang out of the soil, and I realized how I’d been naive.
For the girl was still there, just in spirit, and not in the living flesh.
I questioned every single choice, and all my beliefs, too, I must confess.
Not just the girl, I thought with surprise, but everyone else, too,
Everyone who had ever climbed my trunk or gathered by my roots.
In the growing forest around me, in the plants that littered the ground,
‘A sort of family’, I pondered, and a smile crossed my eternal frown.
Now once more I am a sapling, embedded in the dirt.
A sapling who knows more than he once did about this blue-skyed Earth.

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Shubnoor Chhena


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