You become a sort of tree.

No, no there is no going back.gl Mortar Rock bay tree
Less and less you are
that possibility you were.
More and more you have become
those lives and deaths
that have belonged to you.
You have become a sort of grave
containing much that was
and is no more in time, beloved
then, now, and always.
And so you become a sort of tree
standing over a grave.
Now more than ever you can be
generous toward each day
that comes, young, to disappear
forever, and yet remain
unaging in the mind.
Every day you have less reason
not to give yourself away.

– Wendell Berry

From A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979-1997

11 thoughts on “You become a sort of tree.

  1. Gretchen Joanna, I keep coming across stories and essays by Wendell Berry, but didn’t know he was a poet as well. Thank you, he is rounding out as a writer in my mind now. Beautiful words. I can see you as the tree for your family, bringing back all those beautiful days from years past to share with your grandchildren xx

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  2. I am going to save this (along with other posts) for reading often. Thank you! I feel close to WB. He’s a distant hero. But somehow I missed this poem. Now I have it–soon by heart (if memory still serves at my age).

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  3. Dear Gretchen, That is an amazing and thought provoking poem. It reminds me of the Angels, serving God by serving man. Love, Christie

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