Elaine D Elliott                              

I am fascinated with the shape of branches
Looping, extending from the trunks planted
Firmly in the ground. I love the birds
That play in the leaves, taking seed
From the fruit and making a new tree
By flying far, far to a new garden.

Once we visited the tallest tree
I’ve ever seen. But no birds
Nested there. No man had planted
These ancient redwoods, but it’s now a garden
Preserved for us. We admired roots and branches
And marveled at the smallness of the seed.

Lying on the grass in my garden
I look up to the spreading branches
And purple blossoms of the jacaranda tree.
Jacarandas have been planted
Everywhere I’ve lived. They are a seed
In my mind as though I’m a migrating bird.

We had an apricot with a large seed
And delicious fruit. The tree
In our patio had the right sort of branches,
But never seemed to attract the birds.
Nevertheless, it sheltered the garden
And I was grateful to whoever had it planted.

I also love the hummingbirds
When I glimpse them in my garden.
They sip nectar, don’t eat seed
And rarely settle on the branches.
But to attract them we have planted
What to them must be a tree.

All these remind me of a man who planted
The very best kind of seed
So purposefully in his garden.
It grew tall and became a tree
And a home for all the birds
Who came and perched on its branches.

                                   Christ, make us like a tree you’ve planted
                                   From your seed. And may beautiful birds
                                   Find a home in our branches in your garden.