I sit
	Before a willow tree,
	Old and gnarled,
	Full of life,
	And I ask
	The tree:
	Willow, who are you,
	What are you?
	The willow answers:
	Man, I am thee.
	Your pain is mine,
	When snow and ice
	Encase my leafless bones.
	Your joy mine
	As spring
	Warms my sap.
	You thrill
	To storm-winds
	Tearing at my limbs,
	And slumber
	When autumn
	Softly takes
	My green away.
	Know not thyself
	In me?
	Poor man!
	Such needless tragedy!

5/11/77

© Fred O'Bryant. All rights reserved.

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