Of Age and Spring

Thinning Live Oak Trees in my front yard. Photo by me taken 3.29.14

My thready Live Oaks still have leaves that hold.
The neighbors trees will soon fill in the gaps.
I pray that drought or flood won’t cause their loss.

Majestic guards, they welcome guests with shade
throughout each year, repelling frost and sun. To lose them now when they are needed most would change my home, and wound my caring self.

We age like that– a halting step, dark spots, a brush that fills with hair, split nails.
We want the sun but fear a fall, a chill.

Then Spring comes in on fragrant flowered breeze.
We braid fresh daisies in our hair and sing. And we arise to wave our arms and dance.
In rainbow shirts we prance among the trees.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 3.29.2014

28 thoughts on “Of Age and Spring

  1. we want the sun but fear the fall….great line, and so true…
    the first bit on the trees is so sad…i hope spring brings them
    back to life in the same resurrection we often find
    once winter is done.

  2. Gay, this is absolutely beautiful. I love the imagery you have painted. I think we are all ready for the change of season! I totally enjoyed the reading and rhythm of this blank verse too. I also wrote a blank verse this week to share.

  3. A bit of care may do the trick to keep your trees healthy, Gay. I’m sure they would welcome the tender loving care after a harsh winter. I love how your words took us into the beauty and renewal of spring…feels so alive and happy.

  4. Guess trees had more winter than they needed, as did humans.
    (We used to sell cow manure 15¢ a bushel, you brink baskets, we lend you a shovel!) They would spread it around those trees… But GAY, what I really like (naturally, me–grin!) is the HAPPY ending, LOVE it: “we don rainbows
    we braid our hair with daisies and we sing!
    Thank you, Ma’am!

    • Yes everything is slower than usual coming out. The trees are beginning to have buds but have never seen my live oaks so bare as they have foliage year round. They shed in February and then put on and the neighbor’s trees are already filled in but mine are not…yet. But the world is flowering and days are fair and we are ready to become the flower power of old Thanks Kkkkkkaty!

  5. oh what wonderful oaks… i do hope they make it through the drought… love the mood in the last few lines …the dancing in rainbow shirts and braiding hairs with daisies… so much life-lust in this..

  6. the opening is beautiful…there is something I find, in general, about trees…so majestic. every loss is a shame…I do hope they spring true.

    I love the shift in the second stanza to the parallel between the tree and our own aging…lovely all around!

  7. A lovely celebration of Spring for all of us anticipate. Hang in with your trees, sometimes it takes a couple of years for them to recover from a harsh winter.

    • Thanks. I appreciate your comment and your knowledge. I know they were stunned by the ice storm so perhaps they will recover. You’ve given me hope for the trees and a warm fuzzy for the poem. 😉

  8. My wife is from TX, and we visit often. Most folks do not realize the severity of the weather there, with drought for months, followed by flooding & inches of rain, where ice storms can descend, where the sun can lead to skin cancer; great feel of place in this one. Love the lines /and we arise to wave our arms/and dance in rainbow shirts/ really resonates with my old bones.

    • Indeed Glenn – this year was filled with extremes exacerbated by the neighborhood drainage project sending Kobelcos down behind our yards and in
      the street in front as they dug out a soccer field to double as an overflow reservoir. The trees were shocked with the last solid ice storm coming after a week of fair weather. It’s a challenge to keep stuff (and people) alive here and wouldn’t be possible to get past middle age without air conditioning. I wonder how many survived here prior to the 1950s and past their 50s! For me, it’s mandatory. Yes these days this last two weeks have been halcyon – in the high 60s, gentle showers some days and soft sunshine others like today when it will reach 77. One does want to gambol in the park (with its new sidewalks) — smile.

  9. A beautiful poem, Gay! I particularly like the tone and spirit of the second stanza. We have had warm weather for a little while and I can relate to your optimism and enthusiasm.

  10. Beautiful poem, Gay. I can identify. I loved the metaphor & can identify. Truly, I think all of us of ‘whatever age’ are ready to wave our hands and dance again once spring comes again! Spring definitely is a mood changer, an invigorator!

  11. This poem shows a lovely evolution–the worry over the potential loss, followed by the break into singing. Well paced, graceful language, a very classic feel to all of it. Very nice work.
    Steve K.

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