A Poem: Whole

Could it be we each are branches
of the one tree?
That love is the sap connecting us.
That leaf by leaf
we are woven as thread into the other,
that there is no standalone limb
that is not fused somehow into the trunk,
and has its anchoring piece.

And that the wholeness we seek
is both the fullness of the body of the tree
and the completeness of our own individuality
shining as a mirror,
looking similar but with our points of difference
that together we might make an entirety.
Our own longings just the shape of ourselves
reflected in the other.

And to come home to ourselves is
something like,
smiling in the dark across the embers of a fire
into another’s eyes, skin, face
glowing with the same heat as
the dance of flame,
and knowing that this countenance that shines
is also our own back reflected.

Akin in the way that
we are all fronds of the same genus of tree,
the same plant that lifts its arms
and drops its foliage,
each leaf and limb through which
the sap runs in spring
and burns in autumn
in its golden pile of leaves.

We are each entire,
each completely intact,
and each in need
with a heart seeking connection,
that love is the sap, the thread between,
to reveal how completely we belong,
are not simply floating
in space, a body of planets
in their celestial orbit –

but are fused in the vine,
joined at the limbs,
the heart, the spirit.
So that somehow in the mind,
speaking,
another understands,
And we can know then as
we are known,
and though fully our own,
can be one and the same,
each of us of the same genus of tree,
and its body of leaves.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
February 2021


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