MY BROKEN TREE
Liberty Hyde Bailey
Over my cliff is a maple tree
That always delights my heart to see.
In some stormy day its smooth bole fell
And now lies prone where it started well.
Its trunk is scarred, and with branchlets weak
That struggle still to the light they seek.
But straight to the blue its new limbs rise
And spread their leaves to the rains and skies.
One would not know from the verdant crown
That winds had beaten the old trunk down.
Its neighbors stern in the forest grim
Stand stiff and strict and all churchly prim.
But its branches spread more wide than they
And fling their fruits to the winds away.
And panellings fine its bole will make
When the artist comes his part to take.
Over my cliff is a broken tree
That it always cheers my heart to see.
C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com