I Think That I Shall Never See…

 

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Trees

BY JOYCE KILMER

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

 A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

 A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

 source: Poetry (August 1913).

 

I’ve always loved that poem, and thought of it over the years every time I planted or looked at a tree.

Growing up where there was an abundance of foliage, especially trees. It was my quest after moving to Kansas to populate our Ranchette with as many as I could.

My husband likes the open spaces that the Kansas Prairie provides, but I missed the forests and rolling hills with hardwoods, that turned brilliant reds, oranges, sepia, yellows and purple during the crisp fall season.

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During the early eighties, my dad brought me a Sugar Maple that he personally dug up from his Iowa soil. It was only about five feet tall when he helped me plant it. I have to admit I had little hope that it would make it through our hot-dry, windy summers.

But I nurtured it, as best I could, and eventually it began to grow at a steady rate. I knew they, hard woods, grew slow… so I’d check it every spring to measure its progress.

I kept the weeds, and grass from growing around it. I aerated the soil under it, and watered it when it looked parched.

Year-by-year I could see it was pushing its way through the flint and limestone beneath to reach a water source. And as it did, it grew a little stronger.

I would take pictures and send them to my dad, and whenever he’d visit, he would walk around its perimeter and say, “It’s really got a nice shape…I think it’s going to make it!”

I kept it trimmed, like he told me.

I talked to it, and even stroked its trunk.

I’m a believer that trees, and all plants are truly alive and need encouragement.

 

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This is the tree today.

I call it, “Grandpa Tree” after my Dad.

And every time I pass by and look up, I think of him and smile.

It’s a good thing to plant a tree in memory of someone you love.

That tree, keeps my Dad close and in my heart.

KRE

 

 

 

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