When she was so small, she could
rest her head on her mother's smile,
she wanted to be a tree,
to give shelter with her sturdy branches,
to comfort with the softness of her leaves,
and to move the unmoving sky to compassion
with the conviction in her graceful height.
As she grew older, she began
to see herself as diseased, to feel
poison rushing through her veins.
And yet she was perhaps not much different
from those who now saw her scarred
because that was how she saw herself.
She withdrew and in the loneliness
of her sorrow, learnt selfish ways.
Self-pity gave her an extra layer of skin.
Can I do good, she sometimes still wondered,
so damaged am I myself?
One day, searching for a place to put up roots,
she met a child
whose eyes were drowning under the same cold glass
that made her so numb inside.
Unthinking, she held her close,
and she felt her branches grow strong again
as they shielded her waking joy.
Her leaves shook off their purple mood
as they clothed her heart with hope.
She reared her head. And her crown
challenged the unfeeling sky to stillness.
And thus - she would say late in life -
but perhaps earlier than most,
she did reach her heart's goal.
But will she ever know, I wonder,
that her roots, spreading deep their love around her,
are the eternal children who play in her shade,
freed forever from the pursuit of sorrow and despair,
by one who was once
nearly consumed by them.