This post is written in haste. The poem was written in advance because today we will travel north of the border and meet much loved relatives after the long Lockdown separation. Our nephew has not been seen since Christmas 2019. Our niece did visit briefly last September, but it was a sad sojourn of making end-of-life decisions and saying goodbye to the dog of her childhood; Ellie came to live with us when her Mum was hospitalised and it became clear that the dogs should stay with us. (Ellie has been immortalised in some poems on this blog; https://sojourningsmith.blog/2019/01/30/cailleach-conditions/.) So this is the prospect of a joyful reunion, released as we are from Lockdown, into a post-vaccination world of pandemic hugs. I am so over-excited I cannot say if I am beside myself or over and above myself!
So…without further ado…on to the weekly poem! Which was generated from the Personal Universal Deck that NaPoWriMo 2021 suggested on Day 3. It has actually turned out to be a very fun poetry tool. And the birch tree feels like a worthy totem for our brave, slightly tentative, pandemic new world.
Birch Whether white, silver or gold... I have sipped your sap, chawed on a peeled strip of bark that is your fat, your taste unmistakeable, both fresh and keen as new beginnings that you know will somehow turn out sweet as the hull of the canoe transporting you on that next adventure. I have seen seven birch trees dancing in a huddle together on a bog in Fermanagh under their sister Pleides that small gourd offering all refreshment after a long, long drought, Drink a long draught. Stand tall once again. Listen to the rustle of the catkins early in the season, itching to dance with spring's fair wind even when it still feels cold. Tree of second chances... starting up and over, one that knows joy even in the coldest, the darkest of places on earth. It knows it is truly a good earth for all, even for the mistaken and the misguided, that the lost need their chance to be found once again, at the last, which is at the very optimistic heart of this tree's very hard wood. Copyright © Bee Smith, 2021. All rights reserved.