A Poem: If We Knew

If we knew?
If we knew how short
the span of our attachment.

When time is seen
in the context of eternity,
then our breath,
less than brief,
seems hardly worth the drawing.

Our mark on eternity’s length of string
less than the time it takes
for a cicada,
burrowing from the dark
to lift its voice in song.

And yet,
we muster up the strength.

Just as the weeping cherry,
whose offering is not in its fruit,
but the fragile hold of its blossoms,
stirs a nation from its sleep
to contemplate the first flush of its spring.

Yes, if we knew?
If we knew how short
the span of our wealth.

If time were seen
in the context of eternity
then how slow to anger,
and quick to love
we might be.

Ready to forgive,
ready to bow and surrender,
all that would disconnect our hearts.
How we might bond ourselves
to joy,

that we would resemble
the last of the cherry blossoms
adhering to the branch,
holding on tremulous
through spring winds.

And when the gusts,
finally strip us bare
from the tree,
the green leaves that follow,
our flowering,

might they be the reminder of
the length of string.
How eternity’s unravelling,
even though we might be forgotten,
needs us for its green continuum.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
September 2018

Photo:  Carol Haines

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