Poetry: Saying Goodbye

The Waldorf school my daughter graduated from last week names each class after a tree. That tree becomes the class name, a symbol to rally the class together and form them into a cohesive unit. I wrote this poem to honor her teacher and the Linden tree class. The image was drawn on the chalkboard by her lovely teacher on their very first day together. I hope you enjoy it.


Under the Linden Tree

I. Branches and Leaves

Swept forth into the strong branches 
of the Linden tree, you call out “look at me”
and “it’s not fair” straining to be heard among 
the others. Within your fellow heart-shaped
leaves you found symmetry, serrated edges—your
pointed tips sharpened by your proximity to 
magic.

Noisy bees circled, drawn by your
sweetness, your softness transformed by 
storms into hardened beauty carved into 
any form you like. Tilia, basswood, lime—
your names ring out like justice and peace
dancing around the base of graceful towering
magic.

Seasons danced happily through your 
green leaves, braced together and held firm
by the juggling trunk’s deep roots far deeper
than any tempest could shake. Tiny creamy 
yellow flowers burst forth in bundles, hanging 
tight to the tree with ambrosial scented, delicate
magic.

Youth green fullness, brash and vividly bold,
gave way to golden autumn’s crisp firmness
curled tight together clinging on for one more
precious moment. Yet, breezes come to transform
one into many, flying on fitted spiraling wings from
your fertile orchard, singing the forever song of Linden
magic.

II. Trunk

Blown into an orchard, banded cord thick with
butterflies, steady roots plant deep in slippery soil 
ripe with crawling, noisy seekers crying out with
“whys” and “how comes.” Beneath the Linden
branches the red-winged cardinal’s two-part whistle 
sings of beginnings, suns, moons—ancient woody 
magic.

Gathered together under loosely woven branches
communing and feasting wildness transforms into 
dancing movement. Light streaks through limbs to
cover crowns as Jack Frost frolics with snowflakes as
hands, melting hardness into puddles of kindred
kindness. Leafy bunches become conical, balanced
magic.

Ridged, furrowed scaly bark grows and smooths  
until shining with etched runes it reaches across
fast-moving water to capture sacred geometric
truths within bright colored folds. Bears prowl 
near, scratching fears, stretching up toward 
cascading waters, ravens, dragons, stones–Earth
magic.

Winds blow birds nests nestled into grooves worn 
smooth by patient hands. Across distances the song
remains strong, drawing the Linden into itself, singing
melodies deeply woven through delicate leafy veins
forever connected, forever entwined, forever part of 
sunlight’s loving embrace, warmth wrapped in bonded
magic.

51 thoughts on “Poetry: Saying Goodbye

    • Thank you. Waldorf is full of beautiful traditions and ways of marking time. My favorite is the rose ceremony. On the first day of school, the 8th graders give the 1st graders a white rose welcoming them to the school. On the last day of school, the 1st graders give the 8th graders a red rose to say goodbye. I cry every single year but sobbed both times my children left the school.

      Liked by 1 person

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