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