Salix Babylonica

Hey there drooping Willow,
have you been weeping for about 36 years
while the earth has been shaking out your roots
and the dirt has been collecting your tears?
You’re a beauty in all your grieving
with the weight of your limbs draping over the earth.
You see to some, your posture is deceiving.
I think your branches are full of mirth.
Your tresses wisp and sway in the summer breeze,
dancing to songs of the wind.
You move with finesse and the greatest of ease
as you curtsy, bow, and bend.
You offered me shade during my childhood–
that is until they chopped you down.
I suppose your weeping wasn’t conducive
to mowing straight lines in the ground.
Your limbs enveloped a fifty-foot circumference–
a natural tent from the hot, summer skies.
I guess they believed you drooped to low,
and they didn’t understand all your cries.
They didn’t harness and process all your raw gifts.
They tossed you away and don’t think of you.
They still have no idea all the purposes you serve;
you take away pain like feverfew.
You even treat spinal disease,
despite your short lifespan.
But, they’ll continue to be cowardice as they please.
Straight lines are driving the plan.
They’d rather slump and twist in their old age,
remembering all their manicured lines
and gripe about the wild-haired young ones
who’d rather play in Willow’s wispy vines.
You’re as ancient as Egypt and Assyria,
and when I swung, I was Tarzan.
God forbid little girls be so vulgar–
pretending they could be a half-naked man.
I could care less about straight-line appearance;
it was about being wild and free,
finding my voice and purpose
in the wilderness of just being me.
Now that Willow has been chopped down,
and I am grown with adult eyes,
I can see the bigger-picture playbook,
and these lines that feed the self-imposed lies.
Spines will continue to shrivel,
and Willow will keep being cut down.
But, I care not for well-manicured straight lines
being mowed in chemically-fertilized ground.
So, I’ll plant seeds of wispy tresses,
where the wind blows wild and free.
If I please, I might wear dresses
in the wilderness of just being me.
Willows don’t offer an explanation
for threatening the image of the overworked earth.
They don’t qualify other’s ideas of crying and weeping;
they just keep dancing in their own mirth.

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