27 January 2009

Splintered: Willow Tree

Our backyard is residence to a pair of lovely weeping willow trees.

Shopping for a new home nearly 4 years ago, my pulse quickened as I spied the mature, green giants waving in the spring breeze. Weeping willows are my favorites, hands down.

Part mobile- with each and every sinuous branch fluttering and flowing on the tickling wind.
Part sculpture- with those solid trunks sliding into the earth, embracing soil, rock and mineral. Supporting their own weight and grounding them firmly into their base, they are sculpture in the round.
Part watercolor- in the Spring, new leaves sneak out in shades of chartreuse and lemon. Wispy, soft and dream-like. I constantly want to bring a book down the hill to visit the dappled shade and kick off my shoes.
Part impressionist painting- Like a pleasant childhood memory, I'm never quite able to nail down where the leaves come from, or even when. How did they manage to burst onto the scene when I thought I'd been watching so carefully? And in the Fall... well, the leaves are just suddenly gone. (Perhaps I only had the impression the leaves were there?)

In winter though- oh the Winter!- the boughs and limbs take such a beating. Neighbors tell me we've had a couple of icier years than normal. Snow is not a problem, it's the ice rain. As beautiful as it is to see each individual twig encased in a crystalline sheath, our weeping willows simply cannot hold the weight.


We lost ten thigh-sized limbs last year. Already two this winter. I cry inside to watch the weeping boughs I love so much snap beneath their burden.
They're calling for freezing rain tonight.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous heather said...

Oh, Erin! I love Weeping Willows as well. It makes me sad to hear of their brokenness.

11:20 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Different note: I will accept your poem even if you write it tonight or tomorrow. Though if you write it tonight, it may have a chance of being excerpted at HCB. But in any case, you'd get links at HCB and Seedlings (I'll keep adding them). And of course I would be blessed, blessed, blessed to hear what would happen if your memories were sparrows. : )

6:16 PM  

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