When I came to you, willow tree
that last clear summer’s evening,
when I told you that I loved you,
you whispered secrets to me
of the many things you’d seen.
Oh willow! Standing there so long,
great limbs outstretched
as if to reach infinity-sky.
The caress of your rough bark to me
felt as good as making love, almost.
So long you have grown by
the path by the water meadows
Where often I have gone to think.
And at your feet lies a stream
whose sweet depths I would stare.
Still waters run deep!
For you carry my soul with you
flowing and gone, yet forever here.
The great roots of my willow tree
replenish themselves in you.
Yet as I hug my willow’s trunk
coarse voices sound from down the path.
With an overwhelming sense of fear
I flee from their approach, casting
but a quick goodbye.
With haste I go, and wonder why
such loathing I should feel for men.
Is it my willow urging me to run,
such as he would do, but cannot?
His spirit is within me now.

August 1986

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