Baby Tulip Poplar Tree

Baby Tulip Poplar Tree

A Poem by Anne K. Kaler


My morning paper lies across the drive,

leaf-scattered and branch-adorned,

gifts of the giant tulip poplar tree

in our nextdoor neighbor’s yard.


Green shapes of little mittened-hands

rise above the cracked cement

in which odd seeds have come to die —

bird’s fastfood stop in each crevice.


One spot of green raises baby hands

in supplication to me. I stop to look

in wonder for, within the narrow crack,

I see a baby tulip poplar tree.


Like Christ’s sower of the field,

this seed has fallen on fallow ground,

exiled away from freedom, sunlight,

earth, air, soft breezes, and fresh rain.


The Mother tree has lavished

Her seeds in compact buds but

some have gone awry, it seems,

into a hidden narrow grave


to die, unloved, un-harvested —

never to know the breadth of

space nor whipping winds or

feel its roots or trunk expand.


Hardscrabble life in a cement grave,

it pushes forth its tiny waving leaves,

reminding me that life endures

in struggle, suffering, and in poetry.


For, within my crazed life, my poems too

lie hidden deep in crevices, to reach

forth to birth despite the odds

of blooming there yet, living in its crack,


the seed reaches for the Light far above

as if to make the whole world see

the Light above is also in

my baby tulip poplar tree.

Anne K. Kaler, Ph.D. As a life-long reader, Anne (always with an “e”) is now attempting to read every book in the universe, while helping to publishing more. Surprised to learn that she was actually a teacher, she persisted in that field for nearly fifty years until she started volunteering at PSB.