How sad that in the world there are
trees which children never see;
but sadder still by very far
are kids who never climb a tree:
Who trapped in walls of cities are
all buckled up in hurried cars
watching passing trees through glass
like a zoo trip with a class.
While in a backyard far away
I sense a tree does pine to play:
hoping wind will blow today
a flock of strapping kids his way.
I know that in the world there are
many many many trees.
And still, of these, the best by far
is this one simply called my tree.
His leaf can make a nation glad –
it’s painted red on Canada’s flag!
He’s called “Maple” in Grown-upese,
but has a name among the trees –
in his tongue with colored sounds,
his name means “Nests are Found.”
Lifting robins from the ground,
guards them so they’re safe and sound. His
bark scares foes, his branches sing
the melody of youthful springs;
his roots are toes, his seeds are wings
that pinch your nose without a sting.
Muscles for branches, arms so tough,
so swing, swing as long as you please!
He bends limbs down just low enough
that you can catch them with great ease.
His leaves provide a canopy,
a tent of heaven’s sweet supply
where you can play day after day
or sometimes go there just to cry.
But best of all, up in my tree
a kid can be a thousand things:
a princess in the land of dreams,
the maker of five magic rings,
a captain of a ship at sea,
a starling that can sweetly sing,
the hero who sets captives free,
… whatever imaginings bring.
So if you’re stuck in city homes
unable to climb up a tree,
hold tight the branches of this poem
and come and climb my tree with me.