They are not a few but many these trees, being
different in colour and kind and, since I am no arborist,
their names are beyond my poor knowing.
They are spaced apart to grow into shade
where presently the sun burns the grass,
those places where the earth now splits in fissures
and the slithering earthworm shrivels.
And each tender sapling has its own plastic sleeve
like a parent to protect and support it;
though the wind may blow still and dogs may come
and, at night, eager creatures with sharp teeth.
And it is right not to question or quibble over this
but to invest in the green shoots to come.
Only small patience and the gardener's good care,
a little sunshine and sweet rain are needed.
We are wise in such things. We tend to our trees.
Our parks, our gardens, our civic spaces, all these enrich us.
Our children, though, we do not nurture well.
How then shall they flourish and grow tall?
© Abigail Elizabeth Ottley