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The Willow Tree

Man identifies himself with me
Or, at least, claims we share the notion
That my cascading leaves and branches
Match his tears.

For that, I may be called ' Weeping Willow'.

But I also heal and ease the pain

Both mental and physical.

As for my name

It's a fair choice, I guess.
After all I have seen my share of woe,

Man's woes he has shared with me.

I live by water

I have seen many a drowning,
Whether of man, or animal,
Or both.
(Where one has tried to save the other.

But failed.)

That's where man often differs 
From the rest of God's creatures.
The difference is caring. Or lack of it.
Caring enough to save the fallen.
(In the above case, the fallen in!)

Man saving man is seen as compassion,
Or love. 
Or both.
Man saving animal - likewise the same,
But often economic motive decides.

If not living by river or stream
Then I tap into water below.
I seek groundwater rather than aquifer.

That said,

It's the open, passing waters
That grant me my wisdom.
I lift my own dreams from their freedom
Deep within their endless journey.

Then there are my visual qualities.

The sight to see is the wind in my leaves
Like maiden's tresses blown
When caught in a storm.
Otherwise, watch for my own slender branches
Reaching down into running water. And ask.

Do the swirling pools try to cling on
In vain hope to carry them away
Were they not attached?

The mystery and meaning in the Weeping Willow

Am I harvested for furniture?


More commonly I will weave a fence
Or hurdle for animals.
But, in spite of what they say,
Rarely for cricket bat.

(Thankfully, even rarer for coffin!)

I am found in generous space
Or in rows - but not as a hedge.
In gardens too - yes - although
Never as a wood or forest.
Not in its entirety,

But nestled within arboreal cousins.
(Without prejudging the company I keep.)

Ornamental, I may be,
But more practical and life-giving
For the many insects and tiny animals.

They are my true companions.

And the only ones who weep
When I am gone.

The Willow Tree image courtesy of

Unsplash and Hendrik Will

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