Baby tree

Baby gingko 4-5-18

The Monday before Easter,
shrouded by the pain of so many others
who have suffered great loss,
I stand in the front yard as Paul,
an apostle of sorts, arrives for the weekly
blower treatment and lawn trim.

And when he is done beautifying,
he goes to the black plastic pot cradling
a slender stake taller than the living
stick it held up, takes it to the fresh hole
he’s dug in the middle of the front lawn,
and tenderly sets it in place just feet
from its predecessor, a 30-year-old
Modesto ash, planted by one I loved,
that lived and thrived and died,
reduced now to a pitcher’s mound
of shavings.

The waist-high stick in the ground will,
we hope, turn into a grand gingko one day,
with green fans posing as leaves that
chameleon into golden scallops come fall.
For now it has the blessing of Paul’s
good hands and my silent prayers
(along with fresh wood chips at its base)
to guide it skyward.

And ten days later as I step across
soft grass to check on the fledgling,
there, protruding from its stick self,
poke clusters of tiny green leaves,
little fans-to-be, nubbins of fingers
that will wobble and wave in the breeze
each new season for years and years
to come,


About janishaag

Writer, writing coach, editor
This entry was posted in Poetry, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Baby tree

  1. Hilary A says:

    I was rooting for it! Yay! x

  2. Constance E Raub says:

    O how wonderful that you might have your VERY OWN Ginko tree! You can probably still admire your neighbor’s tree, which you wrote about several years ago ( Is it still there? ) You had such admiration for the fans and the glorious color change in fall. I believe you would collect the leaves and bring some home. I’m happy for you. Should we host you a baby tree shower? Let’s see — cute watering cans; potash; decorative fencing; a small goat to keep the grass from choking it; feed for the goat. So many possibilities! Do you have a male or female? – too early to tell? You probably know the Ginko tree is also known as the Maidenhair tree, but the Japanese call it Icho meaning “tree with duck feet”- very appropriate! Have fun tending it! ~Connie

  3. hollyholt says:

    Little fans-to-be! Love this

  4. Linda L Pickens-Jones says:

    I so love this poem. Perfect Easter musings!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing Jan. We at Sacramento Tree Foundation are thrilled for you and your baby Ginkgo! I also shared your poem with the SMUD Board of Directors last night – they were touched, and are so proud of the Shade Tree program. Thanks again. All the best to you and your baby tree. – Pamela Sanchez, Education Programs Manager, STF

    • janishaag says:

      Thank you, Pamela! This makes my day! So glad the SMUD board was touched by the poem, too. The gingko makes me smile every day, and it has a lot more leaves (and bigger ones!) on it, too. You all know this, but I was please to be reminded how a baby tree can enliven our lives as we watch it grow.

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