Tree's Lament

How could my people  

do this to me?

Picnic in my shade  

and nap there,  

climb my limbs,  

collect autumn leaves –   

then do this to me!

I am ashamed!

How can they do this to me?

How can they hang  

their own kind  

from my branches?


do not ornament!

They think I can’t feel  

this burden?

I cannot endure to live   

if this is what they do.

I harbor life,  

not bring death!

I am ashamed!

I’d rather die!

Cut me!  Burn me!

But don’t use me to kill.

My roots are curling,  

leaves are wilting, I

am dying…


  • Doggerel Dave

    I'm not absolutely certain, but are you talking strange fruit here?
    If so, I really don't know what to give in return.
    At a loss...

    Regards Dave

  • Goldfinch60

    Very strong write dl, as Dave says strange fruit indeed.


  • Doggerel Dave

    Come on mate – this place thrives on interaction: Let’s hear from you – Was there a particular reason for placing the poem in the Uni Review at that particular time?
    Does this help:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvwlPKCfkIM&ab_channel=GOLDENBELL1991 ?


  • dlherrmann

    Hanging human bodies are strange fruit indeed, and this tree objects. I wanted to explore lynching from a tree's point of view. The Submission call seemed to be appropriate for this poem. The editors thought so too. And, Wayne State is the college Robert Hayden, my poetic hero, attended. Then Black Lives Matter became more than just a black concern. It all fit together.

    • Doggerel Dave

      Thanks! No harm in asking - always the possibility of reward. as I received here.Thanks also for the introduction to Robert Haydon. I spent some time with him on a couple of poetry sites. Two great little poems (possibly because they were the most accessible to me, but more - they held some recognisable truths) were, of course, Those Winter Sundays and also The Whipping. Witch Doctor was fun; I also found something practical: Where it is necessary to use enjambment (I don't much like it personally, but still..) don't capitalise the start of the following line.
      Much appreciated, Dave

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