Birch

Revised from February 2022. 

I’ve been birch,
the definition of bent.
Look me up. See how weight
falls from me. It is how I am 
able to hold myself intact
within my pock-scarred,
inconvenient bark.

I’ve been oak,
stubborn unhollowed pillar.
Hear the rain of acorns denting what’s below me.
I am seen as somehow admirable 
until I fall and crush others,
or until someone else falls and is broken
while trying to pass over what I leave behind
year after year.

Now, I wish I had been sawgrass or perhaps
wild oats or purslane, enduring, closer to the soil;
or maybe some weed I cannot name now,
less obvious, more or less scarce or extinct;

but instead I’ve been
more than once
one of the trees we lean on
to provide us with metaphors
for falling and breaking,
ending and beginning again
in the breaking that follows a fall. 
Whoever can say it ends here
will free me from a cycle
built from splinters.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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