Wood: Wisdom from My Eldest Son #Poem #Poetry #Wood #Identity #Son #Wisdom #Nature

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Back in 2015, I taught a one-week summer poetry workshop. For one of their assignments, I challenged my students to compare themselves to one of the core elements or something from nature. My poem, “Elementary Matters”, based on this concept, can be found by clicking on the poem title. The poem below comes from the pen of one of those students: my eldest son. I came across it again this past weekend in the front pocket of my school backpack (of all places!). After a dinnertime debrief last night about his experience at the national debate tournament, the timing of my sudden find felt divinely inspired. I love that he wrote this when he was just fifteen years old. Now, on the brink of graduating college and leaving with his wife to begin his doctoral degree in economics, the wisdom of these sage words reminds me of how much he’s grown and how old he has ever been.

Wood by Sebastian Anastasi

I am wood.

In amber green wilderness,
Stretching willowy limbs in growth,
Absorbing counsels like sunbeams,
Sucking up accolades like water,
I am wood.

Cut down by words of mockery like chainsaws,
Conforming to others, like saw-milled logs,
Leaving behind shreds of identity, imagination, innocence,
To meet uniformity's demands,
I am wood.

In neglected scrapyard of those who never measured up,
Rotting, infested with fear like termites,
Splintering under weighty doubts,
Singed by the burning fire of procrastination,
I am wood.

Found in weathered state,
Stains and scratches sanded out by carpenter,
Built into new and greater plan,
Fellow planks beside me framing something grand,
We are wood.

2 thoughts on “Wood: Wisdom from My Eldest Son #Poem #Poetry #Wood #Identity #Son #Wisdom #Nature

  1. Oh my beautiful boy. So very like his father. Yes, he has ever been a grown man even when in a boy’s body. It is quite miraculous to look back on these words as a parent and see what he was and has become. Thank you for sharing this again. It is lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

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