Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tree House

Start with a tree,
an old willow with its feet in the water,
and one low branch to let you in
and a higher branch to let you
and a lookout branch to show
how far you've come
(the lake before you,
the woods at your back),

and now you are close
to those who live in these rooms
without walls, without doors:
one nuthatch typing its way up the bark,
two mourning doves calling the sun out of darkness,
three blackbirds folding their wings tipped with sunset,
twelve crows threading the air and stitching
a cape that whirls them away
through the empty sky,

and don't forget the blue heron
stalking the shallows for bluegills,
and don't forget the otter backpaddling past you,
and the turtles perched on the log like shoes
lined up each night in a large family,

and don't forget the owl
who has watched over you
since you were born.

Be the housekeeper of trees,
who have nothing to keep
except silence.

"Tree House" by Nancy Willard, from The Sea at Truro. © Alfred A. Knopf, 2012. Via Writer's Almanac. 


1 comment:

TeresaA said...

I love this!

last weekend I was looking at this beautiful maple tree and I realized that it would make a great climbing tree. For a second I was tempted. :)