OPUS Mag

Far from timid • Caveat Lector

Planting Sequoias - a poem

Planting Sequoias - a poem

I stand across the room, cringe to myself

As your attempt to sell your dream

Falls on deaf ears and unbelievers,

Interject

Before pessimism has an opportunity to attack, to

Destroy the little boy in you

The one you've worked so diligently to rebuild

After your daddy taught you gentleness

And compassion was work for your mother

Substituting well done and forehead kisses for

Stern looks and cold receptions when you

Put yourself on display so that he would take notice

And your mother overcompensated, smothering you in

What she wasn't receiving, sacrificing her well-being

Telling God she couldn't leave this earth with you

No longer believing

Only to teach you that certain women were meant to

Give and keep giving

Even if there was a deficit

Even if you didn't need it

And so you attempted time and time again

To demand the women you loved, love you enough to

Recompense for your demons

But now you've done the work

So, I walk over to you as you share your vision

Squeeze your hand in mine

Tell the unbelievers, all about your light

Say something like...

"I tell him all the time, his dreams could

Shift paradigms"

Stand firm as your heart beat finds mine

You seem taller as you listen in as I praise you

As if you're replenished, as if you're

Reminded that you're no longer your father's dependent or

Your mother's long night of crying and

There's no need to shrink

Your dreams are wild

But you've entrusted me with your vision

So, I will help you write it

And when they run to tell the stories of

How you grew from bad soil

You'll gently remind them

That I planted the seeds of restoration and

Watered revelations relentlessly

That in every war I was by your side

And in every battle, you looked and you found me

And I'll interject again

Tell them we did our work together

That you were never afraid to let me be whole

Didn’t interrupt while I was broken

You saw me but let me keep going

Let me keep growing

Knew that I had played with fire

And still looked at me like I was worth it

Stood firm as I raised hell the first time I felt your love

Because similar to you

My daddy taught me that love was conditional

That you should love me even if I inflicted pain

And I waited for you to leave me but

You stayed

Just long enough to

Break through my father to find my mother

Shrinking behind the walls I built, afraid

And you went to her, told her it was okay

To finally let go, to set herself free

And you stayed there with her

Until she introduced you to me

And so I write about us

Because our love transcends generations

You plant and I water

I plant and you water

A love like this takes patience

But neither of us are pretending to be perfect

We’re aware of the constant shifts

We anticipate the change

We push and we pull

Letting our roots intertwine

Making space, keeping pace

Never allowing the other to wither

Greatness will not be tamed

It will grow, it will have its way and

In time our children’s children will thank us

They’ll remember the days

That they watched us cover one another

You, planted in love

Me, resting in the shade

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