“Love in the Leaves” — Shea Minter ’15

If Grandmother Tree could talk
She would only tell love stories,
Because there is enough tragedy in life
For fleeting flowers to sing of
And enough cruelty in love
For everlasting trees to notice.

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She has stood through decades
Foliage waxing and waning
As affection is want to do.
She rocks and quakes with whispers
And secrets.


It’s true that Grandmother Tree
Is a hopeless romantic
And not every tree would write a romance
If trees were want to write.
But what better subject matter for one
Seen and lived through everything,
Than what is at the heart of everyone


The story of an hour
Starts with two performers:
She poured her love into lines
And into the final bow.
What under the spotlight loomed and sweltered
Vanished with the day of curtain.
Actors are a blank canvas
And she wanted to paint him with affection.


He, on the contrary,
Distinguished between character and artist
And did not return the sentiments.
He didn’t simply react with indifference,
But burnt the stalks of love at the root.
Her heart hurt with his loathing,
Which was the tale Grandmother Tree told
As her leaves dropped off for the winter.


From then on, the girl could only love in summer.
In the sunshine she could kiss and laugh,
Her wound healed in the heat.
But winters she froze her desire,
It felt wrong to love another.


She waited like a seed under frost, hoping to be thawed.
The cold numbed her to the desire of a third,
Who pined for her guarded mind.
Like an evergreen he loved in needles
Sharp and surviving
Through flurry and blizzard,
But unable to catch bloom or retreat from green.


All this the Grandmother Tree could see
And would share if words were leaves.
How love settles in a way
That entirely befits the magic and
Cruelty of nature.