Instead of a tower above the town
be a Smoke Bush.
Be the treee that absorbs all.
Know you are called to a higher purpose
beyond your purple smoky leaves.
Grow wild, wrap around rocks.
Change the invisible air around you simply
Provide a place for birds to hide.
Trust the mountain,
let your roots grow deep.
use mysterious photosynthesis to transform carbon
Take in the fumes of all around you
and exhale as oxygen.
Copyright © Veronica Gaylie. Originally published in carte blanche (Spring 2011) and also appears in Heartwood: Poems for the Love of Trees (League of Canadian Poets, 2018).
Veronica Gaylie is a Vancouver writer and environmental educator. Her first book of poetry is Sword Dance (Exile, 2015). She is the founder of the non-profit project Sacre Verte.