Birch Trees (with recording)

Strains of Tijuana Brass flood the yard
while father on bended knee tends
his garden, tiers of stone edged rows
encircling a trio of birch trees.

Father points out birches on Sunday
drives, as if the bark is sacred, leaves
whispering a secret I cannot hear –
stirs in me an indefinable longing.

My husband planted birch trees
there amongst the flower beds –
how the leaves shimmer in sunlight,
how my heart quickens, bittersweet.

Imagine Father seated there, mellow
as he was in old age, angst expended,
tyranny of parenting set aside – understand
love unexpressed dwells in birch trees.

(Watercolour image by yours truly)

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

33 thoughts on “Birch Trees (with recording)”

  1. I love, love, love this poem! My dad also pointed out the birch trees on family drives, as if the bark is sacred. I also liked hearing your voice again; it sounds stronger than it did last time.

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  2. Delightful reflection … and image! … especially drawn to “angst expended” … something not even age can bring reliably. Guess birch trees are an essential ingredient. I’ll pay closer attention next time I’m near them (listening for de-angsting vibes). I googled birch trees in Texas … a “river birch” grows in East TX … maybe they were at the campground near the Arkansas border … maybe what felt so good there.

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    1. Thanks Jazz. My son tells me the bark of the birch trees is sacred as it makes great fire starter. I think at one time it was used for scrolls. Can’t remember if I saw any in Texas or not. Hmmm.

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  3. I really like the painting – the colors and shading. Really nice. The poem – read aloud! – also so enjoyable. “Angst expended…” – ah yes.
    I have a soft spot for birch trees as well. I miss the ones we left behind when we moved.

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