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  • Writer's pictureAudrey Tokarz

If I Were a Tree

I contain the gift of life

And I love to sit in quiet contemplation

With my hand pressing towards my heart

Feeling my chest rise and fall

Rise and fall

Cherishing the wonder of the blood

Rushing beneath my skin

And knowing that this

This is what it feels like to be alive.


But what if I were a tree?


A tree is alive without a heartbeat

Alive without a pulse

But the life of a tree

Just like that in me

Has a purpose

A glow

A song.


When I was young

We would go to visit

My father’s father’s father

Every week after church

As a family.

In his yard

Were fruit trees

And even now I fondly recall

How we would go out

And pick oranges to bring home.


If I were a tree

I could be an orange tree

And I could share and give

And I would be happy

Because

With every fruit picked

In its place would be hung a memory

Shared

And as time passed

My boughs would hang low

Laden with countless moments

Worn proud

Like the medals of decorated soldier.


If I were a tree

I could be a redwood tree

Growing tall and proud

Standing witness to generation

After generation

Reaching up to the heavens

Brushing against the fingers

That God extends to touch His creation

And from my perch

I could look out over the land

And the people

And the generations

And be at peace.


If I were a tree

I could be a mustard tree

And slowly but surely

Grow

Bigger and stronger

Into a haven for many species

And I would witness firsthand

The power described

In the parable of the mustard seed

And hopefully

I could share that powerful message

With countless witnesses

And maybe even convert a heart

A heart buried deep within the chest

Of another living being

A human

With a heart

Beating

Who has been given the gift of life

Just

Like

Me.


They will never be a tree

But maybe

They would look at me and imagine

As their own heart

Hammers out a rhythm within their ribcage

‘What if I were a tree?’


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