I wrote this poem several years ago, but got to thinking about it this week — probably because we are coming up on Valentine’s Day. So I decided to give it some time online again.
THE SECRET OF THE RIBBON TREE
I’ve wondered round this earth for years,
And known my share of joys and tears.
I’ve laughed with love and cried for loss,
And broken dreams like rubbish tossed.
I’ve seen sights soaked in splendid sun
And bathed by moon when day was done.
But ’til today I’d not seen such
A sight that stirred my heart this much:
A giant, handsome, stately tree
Bedecked with ribbons midst the leaves.
Such gorgeous bows of silk, blood-red,
Tied as if on maiden’s head.
I stood and pondered what it meant:
This work of art to nature lent.
Who ties these bows, and why, I asked.
Who set himself this tedious task?
Some lover dreaming of soul-mate,
Who joyous love anticipates?
But there was none who, passing by,
Could tell me who, or how, or why.
And though I stood ’till set of sun
I found no answer; no, not one.
So on I trudged my weary way,
To reach my post by end of day.
But as I went, I sang a song:
Though much in this old world is wrong,
Still someone with a heart of love,
Took time and, with care, beauty wove –
Amidst the branches of old tree –
A gift of ribbons for all to see:
To lift the heart and light’n the load
Of each soul passing ‘long that road.