by Thomas Zampino

I noticed only yesterday but the signs seem to have existed forever.

The trees in my backyard, the ones that have always been so elegant, so strong, so reliable, and just this side of ancient, have grown grossly lopsided.

Perhaps it’s the ground beneath them. Unanticipated upheavals are now feeding at their roots. Or maybe it’s the years of neglect, years when I failed to see their fragility.

Even their limbs are pointing back towards the earth, as if reaching down for the comfort of days long gone.

Will their own weight finally bring them down?

Not if I can nurture them in time. Not if I can reclaim those anchoring roots.

Not if I finally understand.

Lessons abound.

Previously published at gracepending.wordpress.com

PAINTING: Avond (Evening): The Red Tree by Piet Mondrian (1910).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Healing, whether touching upon an individual, a society, or the world at large, does not require massive or sudden change. Subtle yet definable movement—patiently, mindfully, and consistently undertaken—will yield enormous growth. Because we are so radically but differently empowered, each of us is capable of offering up just one modest step towards healing that, together, can change everything. We need only notice and begin.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Thomas Zampino, a New York City attorney, writes poetry at gracepending.wordpress.com. His work has appeared in, among other places, The University of Chicago’s Memoryhouse Magazine, Silver Birch Press, Bard’s Annual 2019, Bard’s Annual 2020, Trees in a Garden of Ashes, Otherwise Engaged, Chaos, A Poetry Vortex, and Nassau County Voices in Verse. A video enactment of his poem Precise Moment was produced by Brazilian director and actor Gui Agustini. His first book of poetry, Precise Moment, was published in August 2021.