“Trees are the keepers of stories.”
~Kathi Appelt, The Underneath~
“Tell me how to get from here to there.”
He makes his request with the utmost respect.
By nature the boy knows the tree has seen
for miles and miles beyond the shaded horizon.
The tree stands quiet.
“Were you there?” the boy asks, awaiting a word.
The tree stands still.
By now the boy refrains from speech
following in his footsteps,
earning the trust of his steady companion.
“Can I tell you a secret?”
The tree opens up, rooting for the listening ear.
“You bet” assures the boy. The son leans in
raising his right hand to the seer of the sky
as if signaling the promise of a solemn pledge.
“You see”, the tree begins,”North, South, East, West–
these directions only get you so far. “
The boy understands, a tear descends.
He knows he’ll never make it on his own.
The tree continues on, unmoved
“The Good Lord never gave me eyes to see.”
The boy looks up to him, disappointed now
he knows he’ll never find what he’s looking for.
“But how will I know?” the boy asks again
He’s sown this far, he can’t give up now.
The tree blows kind, patient as the pines
rushing in with the skill of a blind bravery
“Fear not, my son” this is the way–
“Listen for the grain against the wind.”