A Climber of Trees
by Roy Charles Henry (b. 1938)
In his 1836 manifesto Nature, Emerson said, “The best moments of life are these delicious awakenings of the higher powers.” He understood why I climbed trees.
Am I dying,
Or am I struggling to wake up?
I can answer both yes and no!
My body gradually, yet relentlessly fails to do my bidding.
The melodies of man and nature are fading away.
Sadly and not sadly I carom between two worlds,
Assume two identities.
A faltering graying seventy-year old and
An ageless swashbuckling Zorro.
From heartbreaking sadness to a carefree joie de vivre
I scamper up a limber tree swaying in a soft warm breeze
Blowing many summers ago.
I look out over my searching friends below,
A child again playing the endless games in an endless life.
I have left the earth and am flying over the housetops.
I am invisible momentarily and then I descend
From air to branch to ground
And the squealing energy of my fellow creatures.
“Roy” my Dad shouts, “Come on in, it’s getting dark.”
“It’s too late,” I think to myself as I head for home.
My home is elsewhere now,
I have become a climber of trees.
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