The Tree

The Tree?
Some strip her skin and boil it
Others tear her leaves and crush them
Roast her pieces and boil them
Smear it on boils and soars
It’s healing for the skin
Some chew on her leaves
Eat her young buds raw, or fried with vegetables
It is good for health
Her green twigs are wrenched off to be chewed and spit out
It is great for the teeth
The physicians praise her virtues
The patriarch is pleased with her
He declares, let her be, she is good for the household
So she is not uprooted
But nor is she cherished
She stays in the backyard
Debris and garbage collect around her
Someone decorates her by paving her base in tiles
It is but another form of garbage
Then one day a new kind of man happened by
He looked at her with love light in his eyes
Did not tear, wrench, skin or break her, just admired her
Saying, How pretty the leaves, what beauty!
Look at that cluster of flowers,
As if a bunch of stars have descended from the blue sky to a green lake,
How lovely!
He stayed a while, admiring her, and then moved on
A poet, not a physician
The tree wanted to go away with him, but couldn’t
Her roots were too deep in this backyard
She stood there, forlorn, surrounded by garbage
Just like that efficient superwoman,
The lady of this house

Adapted from Banaful’s Neemgach

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