“FROM SEEDLING TO DUST”

From seedling to dust,
we grow up fast;
logarithmic,
doubling over
ourselves.
Then, we slow;
one over the other.

We don't notice
past a point
how much more we are
still
growing;
though we are.
We spiral wider,
ever tighter,
wanting to return
to our center;
the home we orbit.
Our origin;
a hole in mother
earth.

We are each a tree
and
we've each tried
breaking off
and
growing
into our own paths;
stems of chance.

Take it slow,
though.
Take it slow.

If you try
growing too much fruit
on an immature branch,
you will surely
be broken
and fall short.
It is the old branch;
our strong foundation
that can bare
the weight of success.
It only matters
if you can bare
the wait of success;
one ring
over
the last.

Sometimes we're pruned
and sometimes we grow
back, resilient.
Other times, we don't.
We just go
a different direction;
never to return
to where we are knot.

And we each know
the scars of love
carved deep
from our surface
toward our center.
And we get over it,
growing over it;
bleeding our sap
from
a hardening bark
to protect ourselves
and our old wounds.

Don't be afraid
to be alone.
You can grow higher,
being alone
for a while.
Of course, it's good
to have company.
A neighbour to shape
your growth.
Someone to compete with
for the sun
or to lean on after winds
blow hard,
uprooting you.
And it's good
to shade and protect
the ones growing up
beneath your shadow.
We are each a tree
and we've inherited
the mulch we grow
from those who rose
and fell before us.

Of course,
the only way to move on
from where you are
rooted
is to fruit
or to fall.

Some go by flame.
Others go by wind.
May our smoke
breathed out from
chimney or lung
orbit the earth.

Some are picked;
others neglected,
going the way
of
a slow decay,
quickened by
termites.

We all go to dust,
though.
We all go to dust.
Some by pollen.
Others to ash.
All of us by skin;
the rest by rot.

We are each a tree
and if you are
reading
this poem on a page,
I hope you slow
and consider
the meaning
of being a tree.

What are you growing
to become after you
stop?

narrative poem written on 05-28-2014 by: on mattkane.com
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