Talking with Trees, My Imaginary Skill
by Jeannie E. Roberts

Along our road, near the old man’s garden,
behind the patch of corn, the neighborhood oak

waits to greet me. I turn the corner, watch
for her crown, bouffant, bright with October,

and the mellow aura of fall. She motions my way,
“Here, come closer.” Her stance is grounded,

confident; her branches toned with the windswept
succession of years. “I feel your happiness,”

she whispers. “I gain energy from your visits.
Through the seasons, you’ve given me strength.”

I thank her and reply, “You’re the reason for my
happiness. Your friendship and example have

given me courage. You’ve shown me that change
is the only constant, and the consistency of change

is rooted in the power of perseverance, right down
to the pith of it―in the cycle of birth and rebirth.”

We say goodbye. I bow. She bends. “Until
tomorrow, My Friend.”

I walk away smiling, knowing my imaginary skill
is not imaginary at all.

PHOTO: The Neighborhood Oak in October, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin (Photo by Jeannie E. Roberts.)

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Living midst the natural beauty of Wisconsin’s Chippewa Valley, it’s easy to lose oneself within its bounty. When I walk and explore the area, I’ve found that I not only greet the birch, oak, and pine, but also catch myself chatting with the critters along the way. Season after season, I stand in awe of our trees, forests, and woodlands. Henry David Thoreau said it best, “I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines.”

Roberts (2)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeannie E. Roberts‘s fourth book, Romp and Ceremony, a full-length poetry collection, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. She is the author of Beyond Bulrush, a full-length poetry collection (Lit Fest Press, 2015), Nature of it All, a poetry chapbook (Finishing Line Press, 2013), and the author and illustrator of Let’s Make Faces!, a children’s book (2009).She writes, draws and paints, and often photographs her natural surroundings.  Learn more about Jeannie at

Author photo by Bruce Pecor.