Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wilbraham, Massachusetts: 10 months after the tornado

There she stood, at the corner of Tinkham and Main Streets in Wilbraham, Massachusetts.  Marash Girl with tears in her eyes.  A barren landscape greeted her.  Houses standing, Merrick Farmstand extant, but not a tree in sight.  Plastic houses on a Monopoly board. Or, to quote Theresa Munn, "Feel like we're living in a new development before the developer put in the trees . . . and the last place I ever wanted to live was in a new development."  Or as Farmer Lewellyn Merrick commented, "It'll take 50 years for trees to grow back." (See Marash Girl's posts of June 2 ff. on the Tornado that hit Western Massachusetts on June 1, 2011.)  Unbeknownst to Marash Girl, at that same moment, Marash Boy was on the top of Wilbraham Mountain, surveying the family land where there was now not a trace of the cabin; only trees -- uprooted trees, trees with broken hearts.

As she writes this post, Marash Girl remembers her mother's love for trees, and for the poem that she so often recited to Marash Girl as Marash Girl was growing up:

Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)
      I think that I shall never see
      A poem lovely as a tree.
      A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
      Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
      A tree that looks at God all day,
      And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
      A tree that may in Summer wear
      A nest of robins in her hair;
      Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
      Who intimately lives with rain. 
      Poems are made by fools like me,
      But only God can make a tree. 
      "Trees" was originally published in Trees and Other Poems. Joyce Kilmer. New 
      York: George H. Doran Company, 1914.


Post a Comment