Elegy for a Walnut Tree

black walnuts on a tree image


Old friend now there is no one alive

Who remembers when you were young

It was high summer when I first saw you

In the blaze of day most of my life ago

With the dry grass whispering in your shade

And already you had lived through wars

And echoes of wars around your silence

Through days of parting and seasons of absence

With the house emptying as the years went their way

Until it was home to bats and swallows

And still when spring climbed toward summer

You opened once more the curled sleeping fingers

Of newborn leaves as though nothing had happened

You and the seasons spoke the same language

And all these years I have looked through your limbs

To the river below and the roofs and the night

And you were the way I saw the world

W. S. Merwin

Belledessa was deeply inspired by this poem and is her contribution to our ‘Advice From A Tree’ series!

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