Children used to play pirates by the tree
hunting sweet, golden treasures from the tree.

In the heart of Eden, they willed to be
like God and ate of the forbidden tree.

With a worm in its beak for a hungry
chick, a sunbird circles a silent tree.

“Behave,” Grandpa would tell us, “or I’ll tie
you up and hang you from the mango tree.”

This year, Mummy leaves a gift—there used to
be three, then two—under the Christmas tree.

An empty nest hangs and quivers from a
breaking branch as they chop down an old tree.

“Behold, I make all things new,” said the man
who died hanging from a forsaken tree.

Grandma is sitting again on the stump
where once stood her tall, mighty mango tree.

Do you hear the sunbirds singing? They have
returned in search of a new nesting tree.

Now, my dear daughter, your turn to sow seeds.
Bury your treasures and plant your own tree.

*** Header image by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

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POETRY | Birthday by Christine Chu

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