Naomi Shihab Nye


My great-great-aunt says to plant a tree.
Any nut, she says. She says and says again.
She planted her tree in 1936.

Ahead of us the years loom, forests without histories.
Our hands want to plant something that will bloom tomorrow.
This is too vague this deep root of ten thousand days.

Don’t forget she says, but we are driving away.
Behind us she brushes a leaf from her step.
sinks a little deeper into the soil of sleep
that has been settling beneath her like a pillow since birth.