THE TREE LADY by Diane Valeri

“May  I come in?”

I had been instructed to ask first.


Of course, you are welcome!


The fragrance of freshly mowed greens greets me.

I have only ten minutes.


It was on the advice of the Tree Lady

That I made these plans.

“Talk to the trees,” she had said.

Bazaar but fascinating.


First I draw a Focus Card from her deck.

It reads:

Observe the color brown.

All shades and variations.

All textures and sensations.



Patchy hues on bark and branches

In the grass threaded with straw mulch,

On the fence mixed with shades of gray,

Reflections from a mud puddle,

and one brown leaf,

insistently rattling in the breeze…calling.


The single leaf invites me over.

It hangs clambering from the otherwise green canopy

I RSVP to the young maple tree.


“May I hug you?” I ask.



Brushing away the cobwebs, no country girl, I,

incertain if  my bug spray would protect me,

I touch her slender timber,

multi-colored hazel textures, veins of sepia.


The pine scent of a neighboring tree blows in,

I sniff again,

feeling foolish-

Both hands rest on her trunk now,

the wind moves through her dabbled umbrella.


Like an animated creature,

she moves toward me,

not just a lean

but a root-straining advance,

so like a…step,

I move back,



Collecting my wits,

I touch her wooden base again.

We move to the sway of the fresh cerulean sky.

I feel her aliveness.


Maybe the Tree Lady wasn’t exactly crazy, I think.


The alarm on my iphone rings.

Time to go.


I connected,

with a full heart,

where I  hear her farewell song.


Come again, my friend! Come again!

Diane Valeri, retired teacher and realtor living in Bradley Beach, NJ. She is a debut poet, living and working on the sandy shores of the Atlantic known for its sizzle, drizzle and frizzle.

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