This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Katherine Carlman.                                                                                               


The God Tree

A sturdy pine, ladder-like by nature’s grand
design – straight trunk, limbs extended

at angles of ninety degrees, makes an easy
climb for children who don’t mind pitch.

“Let’s go climb the God tree!” they’d say,
one to another, and scurry away in haste.

Up and up and up (and up) they’d go,
climbing as far as daring allowed.

Settling in crooks where branches met main
stem, their talking turned to God.

What enters the mind of a child? To find a tree a fitting
place to speak about the wonders of divinity?

His great glories proclaimed; awe and joy
communicated in hushed, childish voices.

The God tree is no more; cut asunder; dead and gone,
like other things of childhood: cookies and innocence and unicorns.

For one moment, I return. I linger below; I listen.
Above, her intonation, convicted and true.

I can’t hear every word, but I see her soles,
hear her whispers, and I’m comforted.


Katherine Carlman is a wife, mother, and writer. She focuses on travel, parenting, and workplace issues while dreaming about one day escaping to the hinterlands with her husband in a tiny home.

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