A nice way of saying “stuck.”
This tree is stuck,
it cannot move
unless a force shall blow, or chop, it down
Never roaming to distant lands,
or knowing exotic thrills,
it will sprout and bloom,
sleep and wake,
dry up, wither and die all
in one place.
What of this place?
This ground, in which it is stuck, familiar
as its own feet, roots intimate with the soil,
penetrating deep into the darkness, grasping deep into
ancient beyond memory
and, yet, ever new;
glacier wear of granite ground fine
before its kind ever knew existence,
where long gone ancestors leave their trace
in mounting gain of height,
upon which moving things in age-old patterns kept
find new delights in short-lived glimpses
while this tree looks on
and marvels at the diversity,
multiplication and perpetuation of life.
Through snow and frost, with aches and pains
of bearing the burden of the thick, white blanket
on bare and vulnerable limbs, knowing gratitude
in the heaviness of the protection, but only dimly
while in the midst of the pale light, awaiting the spring,
the return to green, coming in a rush of buds
and melting streams, with showers of tears
shed in relief from loneliness, washed of isolation,
the songbirds and earthworms and budding blooms resuming
the nature of life continuous…
the same old, same old
joy of a full and lively home.
Home, rich in splendor,
knowing every trace of branch above, crisscrossing the sky,
and every lace of grass below, weaving among the pine needles and falling leaves.
The family of deer again, graceful of leg and ravenous of teeth,
though soft and warm of eye. And the brace of rabbits,
wild and leaping, jubilant, unless sleeping
in that same old hollow in the shade,
the shade that the tree has always made,
from which it will never be able to escape.
Stuck, with the bluets and the breeze, the finely
fringed ferns, the mushrooms that bubble
from the ground, the moles and voles, and chipmunks
clambering about, up and down, up
and down, with cheeks full of seeds and nuts,
around and around the circles go,
from autumn’s orange glow to winter’s ice and snow,
then spring is sprung once more and summer’s fruit outpour,
and all is lovely, despite the inexorable pain, the inability
to flee storms of rain, lightning, woodpeckers, bark that cracks with age…
the same place
where all of its life is lived, where every
dip of the land and stone and slant of light is known,
where the tree gives all that it can give
here, in this place…
© 2021 Christina Chase
Feature Photo by Julian Hochgesang on Unsplash
Christina Chase View All
Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.
Wow- Beautiful!! Your poems are so heartfelt!
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Thank you! This one definitely came from the heart of my own experiences. Blessings in the peace of Christ,
I’m not a poet nor have I studied the art of poetry but I definitely felt a beautiful rhythm and flow of words and nostalgic images and thoughts in ROOTED. Yes, you have a poetic bent and talent with words so please do not stop creating such beautiful poems. Deep down, I felt you were, in many respects, comparing yourself to that ROOTED or better “STUCK” tree. The ROOTED tree has created a “home” under its beautiful shade for different critters including human ones. The “STUCK” tree, thanks be to God, eventually very firmly rooted in God, has provided answers for our longings, fears, need for comfort and closeness, harrowing human pains and travails. Yes, indeed this “STUCK” tree is “masterfully rooted”.
Thank you very much reflecting with me! I’m not a scholar of poetry either, and I have not taken classes on how to write poetry. As a result, I know that my poems need a lot more attention and work than I give to them. Write them I must, however, as poetry seems to be an essential part of me.
You are very keen to recognize my identification with the “stuck” tree. I was thinking how being “stuck,” as it were, has enabled me to deeply appreciate the beauty of my own backyard, a whole world intimately around me. (I’ve actually lived in the same house my whole life — so far.) I hadn’t thought about the tree’s ability to provide shelter, sustenance, comfort, and beauty to others is something that I might also share, in a small way. Thank you for that! Many blessings to you,