Are you a poet and don’t know it? Or do you know it? What are your thoughts on poetry in general?
At age 12, I wrote a poem, my very first poem, called, “The Tree in My Backyard.” It won a blue ribbon at the county fair when I presented it framed years later. It hung on a wall in my apartment too in my single years.
Here’s the poem:
*The Tree in My Backyard
There’s a tree in my backyard—
oh, yes, oh, yes, it’s true.
It’s been in the family forever,
just like the other ones too.
The bark is brown, the leaves are green,
tall as can be, but stubby as a gene.
It shades us from the sun,
warms us from the cold,
and when we wanna play,
my friends and I circle around it.
But, sad to say, it’s dying.
It has no strength any more.
And now that I am watching,
as Dad hauls it away with his truck,
I shall miss that tree.
That tree in my backyard.
When I go by other trees
I’ll proudly smile, with glee…
Good-bye, old tree: the tree in my backyard.
I know, I know, this poem is totally cheesy or corny, right? Well, yeah, since I wrote this poem when I was 12 when I didn’t exactly know how to write a poem compared to now. But if you think about it, there’s quite a story hidden between the lines of this poem.
When I presented it to the county fair, I remember the judge asking me, “So, explain what this poem is really about.”
I said: “Well, it’s basically about a tree in the family’s backyard that eventually dies and they have to get rid of it, but it has a certain value to the family.”
The judge responded: “Oh. Well, what kind of value does it have? Explain this to me, please. Why is this tree so important to this family? What makes a tree so significant to any particular family?”
Oof, she was asking hard questions.
I remember the summer of 2001, the year I wrote this exact poem. There was an actual tree in our backyard, surrounded by numerous other trees since we lived in the country, and I kind of liked this tree. I noticed it when I was playing in the backyard one day. It wasn’t anything special. It was a regular oak tree. It looked like a teenager tree, where it’d once been a baby tree the year before. I believe I even asked my mom about it, and she said that it’d always been there and wasn’t anything new. This tree wasn’t very tall, and it definitely did not have a sturdy, hugely thick base to it. Or just a small little tree that seemed to be all by itself, standing before all the other trees like it didn’t matter compared to the rest.
But one day, I went and visited this tree, and it had broken in half. I’m not sure if a storm had gotten to it or what, but the tree was completely gone, so my dad literally had to carry it away.
So I suppose the moral of the tree story is this: be grateful for the time you have on this earth and be blessed and confident about the blessings in your life. When you’re angry or sad, don’t be afraid. God will cheer you up and turn your life upside down in positive ways! You need only to be patient. 🙂 Because every broken path in one’s life God heals back together in time. He just has to teach us some kind of lesson along the way.
This is similar to what I told the judge, and now, this is what I’m telling you. My hope is that it helps you with whatever struggle you’re currently dealing with. It definitely gives me hope as I pan through life’s latest dark struggles. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Hope is coming! It is on its way! 🙂
And when that light comes, there will be plenty of beautiful, plentiful trees to fill all the dark, sad ones and take their places.
Enjoy your week 🙂