Mother as Oak Tree
For God’s sake hold your arms out straight.
They’ll cut you for your curves,
saw you down to the quick
at the slightest bend or hint of weakness.
Heaven forbid you appear broken.
Hold them up to Jesus, child,
even the smallest, barren branch.
Hold it together, hold it together.
Do not let your skin fall off.
Lepers don’t fare well in this society.
They will want to feel your bark,
caress your crags and crevices.
Stand a bit straighter
when they hug you.
These are the people
who will fight
to leave you
here for eternity.
And here, I will whisper,
so lean in close,
this could be the adventure
of a lifetime.
Push your roots.
Push them right up out of the ground.
Do not be afraid of where you grew from.
Trip them up,
a little. Stretch. Beat the earth
at her own game. When they stumble
on your gorgeous lines
it will stop the people in their tracks.
No one will ever ask to see your rings.
I've never done this with a poem, but this was bugging me. Which way do these lines read better? The present way, or this (which happens to be the original...I just edited the above version). Thanks for your help!
when they hug you. These are the people
who will fight to leave
you here for eternity.