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To a Solitary Young Pine Tree, Sprouting Among Shrubs on the Canyon Floor

Young and twice green:
Chloroplast green forever,
Novice green for now.
You, an adolescent orphan,
Unique among the similar,
Not yet realizing who you are.

Do you wonder?
Is it awkward?
You’ve sprouted taller than the others,
Their stunted growth so uniform,
The common trait.
It is you who bears the burden of conspicuousness.

Why did it have to be you?
The bitterbrush and the greasewood
Were blessed to blend,
Entwined and entangled with
Saltbush, snakeweed, and spiny hopsage;
Companions to the rabbitbrush and chokecherries.

Your boughs reach down,
Shoulders shrugged,
Longing for what lies below you.
As canyon walls point skyward
And beg with arms made bare:
“Lift your face; be not focused on the floor,
But stretch your branches high!”

There upon the ridgeline,
The mighty and the solid
Patriarchal pines
Raise the horizon to a new height still.
Study their structure;
Glance to your own.
They are you and you are they
And none among the shallow shrubbery
Can claim the roots that you possess.

Picture of Wes Stephenson

Wes Stephenson

Author, motorcyclist, poet, and adventurer. Let's journey together.

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