Poetry Sunday: Bare Tree by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Occasionally I will find a poem that just stops me right in my tracks. It can seem as though the poet was addressing me directly.
The first sentence of this poem, "Already I have shed the leaves of youth, stripped by the wind of time down to the truth of winter branches" caught me. I thought, yes, that's me; no leafy branches to hide me anymore. And after exploring the imagery of the bare branches, the poet delivers her final line: "Blow through me, Life, pared down at last to bone, so fragile and so fearless have I grown!"
Anne Morrow Lindbergh definitely knew a thing or two about the experience of being an old woman.
by Anne Morrow LindberghAlready I have shed the leaves of youth,
stripped by the wind of time down to the truth
of winter branches. Linear and alone
I stand, a lens for lives beyond my own,
a frame through which another's fire may glow,
a harp on which another's passion, blow.
The pattern of my boughs, an open chart
spread on the sky, to others may impart
its leafless mysteries that I once prized,
before bare roots and branches equalized,
tendrils that tap the rain or twigs the sun
are all the same, shadow and substance one.
Now that my vulnerable leaves are cast aside,
there's nothing left to shield, nothing to hide.
Blow through me, Life, pared down at last to bone,
so fragile and so fearless have I grown!