Family Trees



Sometimes the distance is written in trees

Faces are in leaves but recognition is

a groan from the branches

echoing loss


seasons and winds come and go

the leaves fall, dry up and disintegrate

I never see their colourful array

not fully


they’re just the fallen leaves of autumn

cast on the forest floor

like photographs tossed on a carpet on a Sunday afternoon

“oh and this is…you’re just like her you know”

I’d smile


unlike the leaves they’re somehow unreal, untouchable



I feel like rain that doesn’t seep into the bark

my roots pruned back

a branch amputated

inviting regrowth in a new space

a new forest


but in the world as it is now

a faraway leaf

takes off on a breeze

catches the same urge

and finds us


separated petioles

reattach themselves to a stem

veins pumping similar




a face emerges

which is more than recognition

reunites a bond

and colour returns to the forest



for dverse poetics: Your Family History

I grew up not really knowing my family history. My parents emigrated to Australia. Most of my extended family are in Scotland and the U.S. It felt strange knowing I had Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins whom I never saw and don’t know.


9 thoughts on “Family Trees

  1. Oh, I think it would be very hard to know that you had / have relatives that you don’t even know. I wonder if you could find them by Facebook somehow.

  2. that would def be weird (for me) because i grew up on a hill surrounded by cousins and aunts and uncles…how cool it would have been to finally meet one and bridge that distance though….to reattach the tree…

  3. I understand, pictures from long away places don’t really touch us unless we have met them ~ Have you tried getting in touch with them via the web or family tree? ~ Thanks for sharing Di ~

  4. That removal from family is heart rending. We can live so far with stories, but sometimes the faces and embraces are needed. Your poetic family stands with you. Thanks for the tender admission, Di!

  5. What a great metaphor here for family and ancestors. I like your hopeful ending for the world today. I’m not sure if it refers to greater mobility of recent times, or just a more general hopefulness. Either way though, I think it works well.

  6. Your opening line completely captivated me…and when you got to the photos on the floor, I absolutely “got it.” Beautifully done with the extended metaphor, as well.

  7. a face emerges
    which is more than recognition
    reunites a bond
    and colour returns to the forest

    To think that one is close to having kinsfolk coming around to say hello from nowhere should be fascinating.But I like most the way you express it in your write. The ending is classic. It bodes well for a reunion! Great take Di!


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