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Tall Tree

The people in my neighborhood are afraid of trees;
Big trees, small trees, short trees, tall trees.
That’s why they’re always cutting them down;
Redwoods, pines, maples, palms.

Seeing trees being cut down makes me so sad,
Because something so tall and big and stable is now reduced to nothing.
Throughout the chaos of human life, trees continue to stand solid and dependable,
I rely on trees to be my anchor; seeing them destroyed is heartbreaking.

When I was a little girl and my father would take me walking in my stroller,
There was a palm on our street that ascended one hundred feet into the sky.
Every time we passed it, I would call out in my little baby voice:
“Tall tree! Tall tree! Tall tree!”

Now I am an adult:
Grown, graduated, pushing myself along instead of my father pushing me.
I am supposed to be like my beloved “tall tree”:
Standing one hundred feet high, strong and brave and independent.

My father told me recently that “tall tree,” my beloved palm, has been cut down.
I feel crushing grief for my tree, and myself: I too am hewed, feeling less strong and adult lately.
But since there is no more “tall tree” to look up to, I must stand as my own “tall tree.”
While I am not as firm nor as tall, I will try my best to be my own anchor, strong on my own.






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