The Language of Trees

If we had as many arms as trees have limbs,
as many hands as trees have leaves,
would we have then their language of touch,
their longer fingers branching out, a sense
of standing tall, a sense of falling, a sense of place
where we might grow down in roots,
grow up to mountaintops?

Do leaves feel the weeping of wind and sky,
the pincers of insects, the saws cutting
through the nerves down to the roots?

Do all trees pull together to reach the sun?
Do they shed their hopes in the cold mask
of darkness and snow? Do they wave
their limbs in sign language?
Do they lean on one another through the storm?

Only felling shows us the history of trees.
Their long lives grow in widening circles,
in seasons telling their stories in a tongue
we partly understand.

Some are lines they’ve crossed and grown beyond.
Rippling waves from the heart, a silent
ringing out may show us the way trees dream,
the way their souls connect on common ground.

From the mouth of a hollow ring,
does one cry to another as it falls?

Robert S. King

5 Responses to “The Language of Trees”
  1. Kami Tilby says:

    Powerful words, beautifully heartbreaking questions.

  2. Lindy Lee says:

    Exemplary use of metaphor…

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