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Tree and sunset

The day after you planted the trees

A desert storm swept in.

The biggest took the brunt,

Doubling over, branches flailing in a desperate dance.

From the window, I could take no more.

My efforts were weak, no match for Nature’s wrath.

I propped up the garden fork,

Tied an old tea towel to the thin trunk.

Still the wind raged and the sand swirled.

That tree took a quare battering.

When you came back, you watered it and waited.

Slowly, green leaves shrank to brown, spreading like a stain.

A quarter, half, three-quarters.

You watched the sand suck every drop of moisture.

I watched you, hunkered, hopeful.

‘One green leaf,’ you said.

I shook my head but you kept your vigil,

Slaking one green leaf’s thirst for life.

And finally, the miracle.

One became two, three, more.

The tree survived and I shook my head again.

Not for the miracle, but for me.

Your faith held sturdy, like a boulder.

Mine was as fragile as an egg.


Hadith (saying of the Prophet Muhammand pbuh):
Even if Doomsday starts to break forth, be certain to plant the sapling you find yourself holding …

PS: I’ve just updated my Irish Poem of the Week page with a Paul Durcan poem – The Man with a Bit of Jizz in Him