I think this poem happened on retreat at Kindling Words West. We were sitting around talking about the first trees that we climbed.
My first was a Maple
At the corner of Dickinson Place and Woodland Road
I didn’t plan to climb it.
I didn’t even dream about it
Or long for it.
I was content to stretch up
And hang from the lowest branch
Fingers clamped round the rough wood
My feet dangling, barely touching the ground.
Swinging back and forth
Back and forth
Watching cars go by
At ease in this one feat.
Then one day
I grabbed and pulled and
looped and shimmied and ooched
my legs around that lowest branch
Til my body was on top of that very branch.
Then I went
Higher and higher and higher.
It’s easy once you’re in.
It practically asks you to go up and up and up
Handhold foothold up up up
A dance. A dance. A dance.
Inside the flickering green light.
Inside the golden yellow light.
Inside and invisible
A perfect place to fledge.