I planted these trees for you
the year that you were born.
Two loblolly pines, just slender seedlings,
carried home from the state fair.
Feeding them to the red dirt
was more wish than wise -
a wish that they and you would take root and grow
despite your poor gardener.
Now the three of you stretch skyward;
lean-limbed, limber, but awkward
in your adolescent reach,
and I am hard put to teach you
the wind led wisdom
I haven't really mastered myself.
So, when the storms come (and they will),
hear me, but look to something else.
Look to the dancer's grace beneath her partner's hand
or the smooth mate and melt of water with sand.
Look how birds fly the currents across the sky.
See how the river runs narrow and the river runs wide.
Look and learn; don't be rigid like me.
Daughter, bend a sway like your trees.