A Poem: This Place

‘I’ve placed you here
like the trees,
your boundaries made to expand
as new spring growth,
while your roots sink
down deep
as great weights
into the ground.

There is still so much
you can do,
by standing still.
If all that comes within the periphery
of your vision
are the birds making song,
then your task is to translate
as best you can.

No, I’ve not made you with swift feet,
or with wings.
Nor given you the scholar’s gift
of certain knowledge.
I’ve made you to doubt and question,
and to make a faith
from observation,
as quiet witness.

I’ve made you as still,
and gentle,
as a grazing deer
before its disturbed.
And as grounded
as the mountain,
whose inner streams run far
and deep.

Do not wonder
at the ones with wings.
That seem to have so much to give.
The offering is not measured by the gift
received,
but by the willingness to give it back
poured out.
Spent and lived.

To become the thing
the gift made you to be.’

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
October 2018


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