She watched the trees bending
in the breeze
Look at how much they bend,
I bend too
I have gone with the breeze and bent
and allowed the breeze to blow me
this way and that.
Was she really the worse for it?
Wasn’t being able to bend a good thing?
Wasn’t it better than rigidity?
She argued with herself.
Ah, but trees do not have to move forward.
They stand where they are planted.
If she wanted to move forward,
bending was not a good thing
It is difficult to move in one direction or the other while bent,
It prevented her from seeing where she was going
Perhaps bending is only for trees
that do not move from where they are planted,
who cannot move from where they are planted,
who have no choice.
Perhaps bending is what one did
when one had no choice but to bend.
Perhaps bending was good for trees
but not good for her.
It made her think she was moving.
It gave her the feeling of movement.
She knew then she bent to survive.
She knew then she could only bend so far
before she broke.
I stand and bend
instead of moving, she thought.
as if I too am planted, like a tree.
As if I cannot move.
As if I have no will to move.
I stand and bend even though
I can move from the place I am standing.
I don’t need to keep bending
The trees have no choice.
I can walk tall and straight.
I am not a tree.
Author: Carmelene Siani
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photos: VIctor Tondee/Flickr