African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Lewis Alexander, "Tree Meditation" (1928)

How very like a tree
Alas am I
And like to bursting blossoms
Are my thoughts.
Some will remain upon the tree
And fruit
And others fall
And drift far on the stream.
For those that drift T
here shall be no returning;
But those which fruit
Shall burst and scatter seed.
The seed shall stand
A flowering tree again
Each generation stronger than the last.

I'm but the tree!
Would I were soil or water.
I could not face the agony of death—
Eternally to mother tree and seedling
And breathe the beauty of the blossom time.

Being the tree
I needs must face the shedding
Bear the fruit which bursts
And flowers which fall;
Standing helpless see them drift down stream
To sea—
Where there shall be no coming back! 

Published in Carolina Magazine, May 1928

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