lessons learned, lessons unheeded from Shel Silverstein

Submitted by Madeline on Mon, 03/30/2020 - 14:11

I used to lament
took it for granted
how could you take and
take and take
and amputate and
the receiving end
had to grin and
bear it?

A lesson learned at three
The Giving Tree
and at the end I swore
I would never find myself
plunked on a stump with my
shoulders hunched
spine a winding
of greed
but yet
still here I am
having done it
without realizing.

It’s not the worst feeling
not a pit in my stomach or a
lump in my throat
It’s disbelief
A cloud over my head
a processless purgatory
that says
I’ll be back,
like before, won’t I?
I’ll be—

But it won't be the
like the boy and the tree
as when he returned
years into the future
I’ll see
little left of what I knew
that shaped me into me

I was not who I am
four years ago
and as the story
neither was he

So until then
I’ll work to make my peace
with this.
I’ll work to make my peace.

Author's age when written


This is lovely, Maddie. It's sad, but reflective and hopeful. The parallel to the Giving Tree worked so well here. As someone who relished my college years, my heart breaks for all those seniors in the class of 2020 whose last months of memories are cut short. Thank you for sharing, as always!

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond