Saturday, April 9, 2011

Little Tree

I get to see my niece, Emma, in a little over a month when I visit my brother and sister-in-law after the birth of their second little girl, Lilly. She lives pretty far away, so it'll be the first time I've seen her since Christmas. I'm stoked.

My sister-in-law does a fantastic job of sending the family pictures of Emma on a really regular basis. I have every single picture she's ever sent me stored in my phone. I've had to delete almost all the other pictures, but that's no biggie because as far as I'm concerned, that photo album in my phone exists so I can look at pictures of Emma. At the same time, I feel a little sad when I look because she is changing and has changed SO MUCH.

That tiny baby I held 15 months ago, and that chubby little cherub who held onto my fingers while we walked all over the apartment last September, and the little toddler in pigtails that I carried on my shoulders all around the house while she grinned and giggled in December, all of those little people are basically *gone*. They're being replaced by a little girl who is learning so much and is so gloriously determined to learn and grow... but still, I mourn a bit that I had so little time with Emma when she was in these different stages.

So this is a poem about that. And about the cherry tree outside my window because this time of year I'm Very Aware Of That Tree.

little tree

Every year the blossoms
on the tree outside my window
seem to fall off as soon as they bloom.

And every year, I chuckle to myself
at how grieved I am at their going.
I'm never ready.

I have pictures of you everywhere,
in my house, my office,
bright eyes smiling at me from my phone,
but every one is different.
You change a little every single day.

And sometimes, I chuckle to myself
at how much this surprises me.
I'm not ready.

There's nothing to mourn here, really.
Trees losing blossoms, children growing,
these are beautiful things,
signs of health, signs of life.

But I find myself mourning
the chubby, giggling baby
even as I delight in the little girl.
Slow down. I'm not ready.


Erin said...

Awww...that was lovely and (bitter)sweet


Promising Poets Parking Lot said...

very lovely ...