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Poems
The Tree
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The Tree

Poem By manny moreno

A twig from an ancient tree
was planted in this valley
ninety-years and a day ago
with grandparents' post-migration
arrival
propagated with a labor
of love and dream songs which
sprouted roots rich
with indigenous sacred hope
and over decades this twig branched-out
into an ancestral tree
lush with a heritage of scattered leaves

some have prevailed on the railroads
farmfields and overseas
warriors in battlefields
some have crooned and swooned
on saddles of assimilation
not total though
to gain an education
some have hummed commitments
to heaven in humble jubilation
some have whistled weary in whirlwinds
on life’s meager means
some have not forsaken
chanting enchanted
traditional ancient
cosmic conscious themes
and now
in this soul-deadening
out of balance Y2K
millennium infancy
I reflect in the autumn years of my being
standing somber in
the shade of our tree;
what will become of it
and me?

For the tree
expands into five generations
perpetuating a pristine
perpetual dream
in this valley reality like
enormous hawk wings
encapsulating us with
a shade of simplicity
celebrated in a social
status of invisibility
and I
native son shy of eloquence
irrigate the tree
with common words
to nourish-in nutrients of this life force
flowing in crimson canals of flesh
in the fertile soil of San Joaquin
in the plants and critters
in the rivers and
pulses of little towns
being shredded for
progress and malls
in the decades deciphered
from a million memories
fertilized for posterity
prestige and dignity
of the tree and landscape
and panorama
of our souls.

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