If a tree fell in the woods and spoke to me – I wonder if the words will mimic the ones printed in the books it turns into,
Or if the wisdom will be reminiscent of the number of rings,
I lost count at 23 – the age you were when you wanted to tie the other end of the rope around the braches,
You saw them reaching out to the sky, a serendipitous commonplace in your eyes,
Well I’m thankful that the tree came down with the storm and that you found your footing among the leaves.
Believe me when I say --
That I never meant to tell you to speak out of my own need to make my life better than it should be,
I just wanted to make it okay ...
To let you tell the truth instead of telling only what you thought you wanted me to hear you say.
You were afraid –
That the thoughts in your head and the rings in your trees made you unfit for this world,
And that the city’s ambience would always drown out the gusts of wind at the shores of Walden,
That no distance to run would take you far enough away to find ears to hear of your suffering,
And I promise that I’ve never been more pleased to say you’re wrong.
And I’m proud of all the words you’ve gotten on paper.
I’ve spent years reading your body language like it was the first page to my favorite book,
And I’m ready to skim through the rest,
I’m tired of staring at a silver door, All that grandeur just to show
my wealthy reflection,
staring back long enough to know that it was fear that kept me from walking through,
And shame that kept me fixing my collar with a broken button and a torn thread.
It was my own self-conscious image that I used to convince me that I wasn't good enough to read your book,
But I’m thankful that it’s not too late to push hindsight astray.
That you held out long enough with patience and the hope that your story could shine light through the blinds in front of your eyes and onto me,
You no longer have to hide behind the window to your soul,
In a lonely room filled with cigarette smoke and your thoughts,
we couldn’t tell which one did more harm until we opened the window and let it all out.
I read the first of your book in the form of the smoke signals the cigarettes made,
And I held off on the rest to try and grasp what the character was really trying to say.
I got stuck on most words and kept going back to the beginning in hopes of understanding,
I kept waiting for the signals to make shapes like the picture books we used to read before the ring count got too large,
I tried to see if your main character walked through the thick fog corridor underneath the old fashioned Venetian lamps just to establish the scenery,
And it drove me crazy to think that he just might be wandering aimlessly from one story to another with nothing but darkness in between,
It made too much sense to be only fiction we were telling,
And took too much time to be late.
I wrote some notes in the margin by throwing leaves into the wind, I hope you know that it’s just a little constructive criticism,
But I love everything you’ve ever written.
Be it in the smoke signals we sent each other when our eyes were just too soulless to look through.
Be it in the paper from the trees that wrote our history.
Be it on the days you were too afraid to let me read your work and I was too cowardly to tell you it was okay to be you.
Because even on the days my chimney is cold and my trees lay upright and bold, I’ve got ears to hear,
signals to send --
Leaves to throw in the wind.