Beershiva Sahara Hodge

Winner of the Ventura Valdez English Poetry Award-2017


1998-2007: Remember The Trees


Little legs scraped on fresh bark weren’t an issue,

and whether or not we fell could be fixed with a tissue

But trees—

we miss you.

When I was a kid, I used to climb you all the time, not for a dollar, a twenty, or a dime.

Free-spirited and wild, funny how we turn so much more scared in comparison to when we were a child.

That tree is too high, we say, looking up and murmuring, not today.

Those leaves look prickly, and our faces turn sickly. That sap is too sticky, might run into a honeybee.

There’s probably bugs and stuff up there, the question is why is there so much fear and so much reluctance to attempt to climb something so trusting.

I thought to myself, maybe trees don’t grow the way they used to, the limbs aren’t low enough and the bark has turned rougher. The bugs have increased in population and so climbing is now worth a lot more speculation and then a rejection of the invitation that was once—

Impossible to resist.

But now we look at the tree, whose limbs our limbs once kissed

And we turn away, because those were the days where we had time to play, time to stay, time to be

brave

Those were the days when things were so simple, not so thought-out

But now all we do is think, all we do is shout.

The trees might’ve grown, but so have we— so why is it that

We refuse to reach—

All we do is stop all the things that once gave us pleasure, restrict ourselves and one another,

conform and pretend, refuse to ascend to the place that we want to be.

I want to be

On top of a tree.


Copyright © 2017 by Beershiva Sahara Hodge .


About the author:
Beershiva Sahara Hodge is studying at Montgomery College and recently won the 2017 Ventura Valdez English Poetry Award.